This blog post is the author’s opinion and is for educational and informational purposes only. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. Please feel free to reach out to a Seyfarth Trade Secrets attorney if you’d like to discuss your particular situation.

Before Georgia enacted a constitutional amendment in 2011 to allow the enforcement of reasonable restrictive covenants, Georgia was a popular venue for companies and individuals to avoid non-competes and non-solicits. A recent personal jurisdiction decision in which the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed that a foreign corporation’s registration to do business in Georgia amounts to an implicit consent to general personal jurisdiction raises the question of whether Georgia will once again become a popular forum to try to void restrictive covenant agreements—at least for agreements executed before May 11, 2011.

To understand why, we’ll begin with a brief overview of Georgia’s history as a hostile venue to restrictive covenants and trends in personal jurisdiction decisions before returning to Cooper Tire’s facts and potential impact on restrictive covenants.
Continue Reading Does Georgia Decision on Personal Jurisdiction Present an Invitation to Forum Shop For Non-Compete Disputes?

shutterstock_330853187It is well known that 18 U.S.C. § 1836, et seq. (the Defend Trade Secrets Act or “DTSA”) finally provides a mechanism for pursing trade secret claims in federal court. A recent decision, however, serves as an excellent reminder that failure to establish personal jurisdiction over a defendant will nevertheless result in dismissal of your DTSA claim—and potentially your entire case. So, before you rush off and file that DTSA claim in your local federal court, carefully consider if it’s really the right court after all.

In Gold Medal Products Co. v. Bell Flavors and Fragrances, Inc., 1:16-CV-00365, 2017 WL 1365798 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 14, 2017), the plaintiff filed suit in the U.S.D.C. for Southern District of Ohio against its former employee, William Sunderhaus, and his new employer, Bell Flavors, alleging misappropriation of trade secrets and confidential information. As part of its lawsuit, Plaintiff asserted a DTSA claim, which Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
Continue Reading Don’t Forget to Establish Personal Jurisdiction in Defend Trade Secrets Act Cases

A South Dakota company recently found itself subject to personal jurisdiction in California by a California federal court despite its arguments that it lacked sufficient “minimum contacts” to establish such jurisdiction. The district court held that the company’s alleged knowledge of and involvement with a new employee’s alleged misappropriation of trade secrets in California purposefully availed the company to jurisdiction
Continue Reading California Federal Court Finds Specific Jurisdiction Over South Dakota Company For Alleged Involvement in Misappropriation of Trade Secrets

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed a Connecticut federal court’s order dismissing for lack of personal jurisdiction a Connecticut corporation’s complaint for misappropriation of trade secrets by a Canadian employee of the plaintiff’s Canadian subsidiary. The complaint alleged her knowledge that her employer’s emails were stored on its parent corporation’s servers in Waterbury, Connecticut. Therefore, the claim that
Continue Reading Connecticut Court Has Jurisdiction Over Canadian Defendant Charged With Misappropriation of Canadian Company’s Trade Secret Emails

MPI, a Texas company, went to Kentucky and allegedly attempted to hire two Luvata employees, Foster and Meredith. Foster joined MPI soon thereafter. Over the course of the next few months while Meredith remained a Luvata employee, he and Foster allegedly spoke by phone repeatedly. In addition, prior to leaving Luvata for MPI, Meredith allegedly copied his employer’s computer
Continue Reading Despite Allegations That Something Fishy Was Occurring, Kentucky Federal District Court Rules That Texas Corporate Defendant Was Not Subject To Personal Jurisdiction In Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit

By Joshua Salinas and Jessica Mendelson

A federal district court for the Northern District of California recently held in a “competitor click fraud” case that a mere assertion of a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim without sufficient factual details regarding any inside or outside “hacking” is insufficient to establish subject matter jurisdiction over the action. (
Continue Reading “Click Fraud” Allegations Found Insufficient Under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, But Personal Jurisdiction Found Where Defendant Company’s Website Deliberately Targeted Consumers Within the Forum State

By Robert Milligan and Jeffrey Oh

In a recent federal case out of California, Judge Morrison C. England, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California examined the issue of personal jurisdiction in an international trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract dispute. The case, Vance’s Foods, Inc. v. Special Diets Europe Limited, et al.,


Continue Reading California Federal District Court Examines Personal Jurisdiction Issue in International Trade Secret Misappropriation and Breach of Contract Dispute and Maintains Suit Brought Against Irish Company and Owner

White Wave International, Inc. filed an action in Florida against Lindsay Lohan, Lorit LLC, a company she has an indirect ownership interest in, and several other defendants arising out of a certain Confidentiality Agreement Between Firms (“CABF”) between White Wave and Lorit. It was alleged by White Wave that the CABF provided Lohan, Lorit and the other defendants with a time-limited opportunity


Continue Reading “Internet Communications” Alone Insufficient To Invoke Florida Long-Arm Statute Against Lindsay Lohan In Trade Secrets Misappropriation Suit

Can a California corporation with virtually no ties to Rhode Island nonetheless be sued in Rhode Island federal court for misappropriation of a Rhode Island company’s trade secrets because the California corporation lured away a Florida employee who had a confidentiality agreement with the Rhode Island company?   Yes, according to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.  


Continue Reading First Circuit Court of Appeals Liberally Construes Personal Jurisdiction, Leading to 1.16 Million Dollar Verdict

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, 2009). Consulting Engineers Corporation (“CEC”) sued


Continue Reading Consulting Engineers Corp. v. Geometric, Ltd.: Fourth Circuit Holds That Negotiating Non-Competition Agreements Does Not Subject A Company To Personal Jurisdiction