Courts long have recognized that a trade secret is one of the most "elusive" concepts in the law. This recognition results from a misunderstanding of what kind of protection the law will afford commercially sensitive...more
Score one for the underdog. In Sergey Aleynikov's latest legal battle against Goldman Sachs, he emerged victorious. Earlier this month, Aleynikov prevailed on summary judgment and obtained an advancement (that is, prepayment)...more
Ever since the Seventh Circuit decided PepsiCo v. Redmond in 1995, there has been an almost insatiable desire for plaintiff's attorneys to apply the "inevitable disclosure" doctrine to claims of trade secret theft.
As readers of this blog may know, the "inevitable disclosure" doctrine is a theory of trade secrets misappropriation.
A plaintiff need not show either actual or threatened misappropriation if it can prove that it's...more
There's a perception that anything written in a settlement letter is privileged.
This perception is decidedly wrong....more
For die-hard fans of the greatest TV show of all time, these next six weeks are absolute gold.
Which led me to think: Do the plot lines over these final eight episodes qualify as "trade secrets"? ...more
This is a case I know a little something about.
When Tradesmen International sued my clients in May of 2010 , the outcome was already clear. The claims were garden-variety; the facts weren't. ...more
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is organized about as logically as David Foster Wallace's sprawling masterpiece, Infinite Jest.
For literary fiction, that might be fine. For federal statutes, it's a disaster....more
Several weeks ago, John Marsh, Russell Beck, and I discussed on the Fairly Competing podcast the special problems that arise when companies pursue so-called "whistleblowers" for trade secrets misappropriation....more
For the most part, I am deferring extended discussion of the proposed new trade secrets law to my (friendly) competitors, John Marsh of Hahn Loeser and Robert Milligan/Josh Salinas of Seyfarth Shaw. Their posts are excellent...more
One exceedingly difficult message to convey to clients is this: A judge may not view your case as importantly as you do....more
Last month, a group of bipartisan senators introduced the Deter Cyber Theft Act (S. 884, a copy of which is embedded below)....more
I was reading Eric Ostroff's fine post discussing customer lists as trade secrets, in the context of a recent case involving Farmers Insurance Exchange and several of its former agents, Farmers Ins. Exch. v. Steele Ins....more
The "inevitable disclosure" doctrine is one of the most discussed, controversial topics in unfair competition law. The commentary among academics and bloggers reminds me of the ongoing debate over the proper scope of the...more
This is the first in a multi-part installment on the impact of trade secrets law on hydraulic fracturing.
If you've read the newspaper over the past year or so, fracking suddenly has become a household...more
One of the more difficult aspects of trade secrets law is determining how long to enjoin competitive conduct that infringes trade secret rights of the owner....more
Most non-compete (and some trade secrets) cases are effectively decided at the preliminary injunction stages. For counsel, this means that a significant part of the lawsuit must be tried quickly and with great efficiency....more
The long-running dispute between Mattel and MGA Entertainment is one of the most notable, costly competition cases of the last decade. As most readers probably know, Mattel makes the popular Barbie line of dolls and sued its...more
The new year is off to a pretty big start. We've already seen significant decisions from federal appellate courts on criminal trade secrets prosecutions and the epic Mattel/MGA "Bratz" dolls dispute. We have a looming debate...more
In December of 2011, Clark Roberts and Sean Howley, two engineers at Wyko Tire Technology, were convicted by a jury for stealing trade secrets, a crime under the federal Economic Espionage Act (EEA). The trade secrets related...more
For those of you interested in the academic side of non-compete agreements, the article I have embedded with this post is a must-read....more
Trade secrets claims are highly dependent on the plaintiff's ability to prove one essential fact: that it used reasonable efforts to keep confidential its identified trade secrets....more
For those interested in today's Second Circuit opinion in MacDermid, Inc. v. Dieter, I have embedded the file below....more
Employees aren't equipped with an overwhelming array of weapons to fight back anticompetitive lawsuits.
I have written many times on this blog about this topic. In this author's view, the legal system works most...more
God help us all!
I am discussing the Erie v. Tompkins case from 1938. This was like the fourth most annoying case from law school, and I thought I left it once and for all in Champaign, Illinois in 1997....more