shutterstock_533123590Continuing our annual tradition, we present the top developments/headlines for 2016 in trade secret, computer fraud, and non-compete law. Please join us for our first webinar of the New Year on February 2, 2017, at 12:00 p.m. Central, where we will discuss these new developments, their potential implications, and our predictions for 2017.

1. Defend

shutterstock_526574593On October 27, 2016, the Fort Worth Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court’s order denying an application for temporary injunction seeking to enjoin Thomas Musgrave, the former president of Henry F. Coffeen III Management, Inc., d/b/a Coffeen Management Company (“CMC”), from competing with and soliciting its business. By doing so, the court emphasized the importance of carefully drafting noncompete and nonsolicitation provisions in employment agreements to ensure that an employee’s post-termination activities remain subject to the restrictive covenants.

CMC is an insurance agency that sells insurance products to car dealerships. Musgrave began working for CMC in 2011 as an independent contractor and, as its president, was responsible for managing CMC’s day-to-day operations. Musgrave signed a “Non-Compete Agreement” barring him from competing with CMC or soliciting its customers for a specified term. In August 2015, Musgrave began travelling to New Mexico to visit Tate Branch Automotive (“TBA”), a CMC client that owns several car dealerships. A short time later, Musgrave started assisting TBA with acquiring car dealerships. In December 2015, Musgrave resigned from CMC, but he continued to advise TBA on the acquisition of car dealerships.
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Cross Posted from California Peculiarities.

Seyfarth Synopsis:  Protecting trade secrets from employee theft requires more than using an NDA when onboarding employees. If businesses want to protect confidential information, they need a cradle-to-grave approach, reiterating employee obligations regularly, including during exit interviews. (Yes, you need to do exit interviews!)

Headline stories in intellectual property

By Robert Milligan and Jessica Mendelson

Today is the deadline for public comments requested by the Obama Adminstration on any proposed changes to federal law to combat trade secret theft. 

Some legal commentators have proposed several suggested changes to improve America’s trade secrets laws, including creating a federal civil cause of action for trade secrets

By Joshua Salinas and Jessica Mendelson

The secret is out, Tic Tacs and bubblegum have the most valuable and desirable real estate in the entire grocery store.

On September 27, 2012, a district court for the Eastern District of New York granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss in a commercial

By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh

In business, as in life, trust and communication are key to healthy and productive relationships. When these crucial elements are lost, as in the case of What 4 LLC v. Roman & Williams, Inc., 2012 WL 1815629 (N.D.Cal.), the fallout is often contentious and requires court intervention.

In

On March 29, 2012, the Seventh Circuit upheld summary judgment in favor of a defendant on plaintiff’s claims for trade secrets misappropriation and unjust enrichment, holding that plaintiff failed to take any measures, let alone reasonable measures, to protect its alleged trade secrets during joint marketing negotiations with defendant. Fail-Safe LLC v. A.O. Smith Corp

In Coleman v. Retina Consultants, P.C., the Georgia Supreme Court reversed a trial court’s decision to enjoin a former employee based on his non-compete provision, but it upheld the injunction to the extent that it prevented the employee from using his former employer’s trade secrets. The case is especially interesting from a factual perspective, as

On April 29, 2009, Governor Sonny Perdue signed HB 173, legislation intended to revamp the way that non-compete, non-solicit and non-disclosure agreements are enforced in Georgia.

April 29, 2009: Governor Perdue Signs Non-Compete Legislation Authored By Rep. Kevin Levitas

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently affirmed the denial of jurisdiction by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia over two companies foreign to the Commonwealth of Virginia. See Consulting Engineers Corp. v. Geometric, Ltd., — F.3d —, 2009 WL 738165 (4th Cir. Mar. 23,