General Business Labor & Employment Intellectual Property

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Document Library to Protect and Capitalize on Intellectual Property

All companies need to take steps to document their rights in and the value of their intellectual property. When your core business is based on key intellectual property, be it a distinctive brand (trademark), innovative...more

What to Do When Your Client’s COO Becomes Your Competitor’s BFF

One of your most important clients just called. She reports that one of her senior sales people quit a few months ago, and she just learned that the sales person has joined a large competitor. Panicking, your client wants to...more

Do you own the intellectual property created by your employees?

With the days of patent and copyrights applying mainly to tangible objects being long gone, data and patent rights are becoming more important than ever. Now, every process, software, procedure, and other intellectual...more

Protecting Your Value: The Importance of the Employee NDA

Where is your company’s value? If you are a young start-up company, it’s probably in ideas. Any new invention, new way of attracting business, new way of streamlining a process, or anything else “new” starts with an...more

Undercover Competitor: Modell’s CEO Allegedly Masquerades as Dick’s Sporting Goods Executive, Taking Corporate Espionage to a New...

Dick’s Sporting Goods has sued Modell’s Sporting Goods and its prominent fourth-generation CEO, Mitchell Modell, claiming Modell brazenly visited a Dick’s retail location and impersonated a Dick’s executive to unlawfully gain...more

Protecting Your US Business From Unfair Competition by Former Employees Requires Timely and Prudent Action

The potential risks posed to a business by former employees are common to employers worldwide. Whether an employee is working in Jakarta, London or New York at termination of the employment relationship makes little...more

There Must be Proof in That Trade Secret Pudding

Okay, maybe the word "proof" is a bit too strong. But a recent decision from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida makes clear that trade secret claims must be based upon more than mere...more

The Restaurateur’s Dilemma: Should Owners Force Chefs To Sign Ndas?

Should restaurateurs wonder each time they hire someone: Will this person steal their recipes — the bread and butter of their business?...more

Did You Do Enough to Protect Your Trade Secrets?

On January 21, 2014, Mozaffar Khazaee, a naturalized American who maintained dual citizenship with his native Iran, was indicted in Connecticut on two counts of interstate transportation of stolen property, which carries with...more

Quick Reference Guide For Laws Governing Post-Employment Conduct - Fifty States At A Glance

In the first days after a key employee, or any employee with access to a company’s sensitive or proprietary business information, leaves to join a competitor, employers must quickly decide how to respond. In these situations,...more

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION EDITION: As Americans Trudge To The Gym, We Review Trade Secrets Fights In The “New You” Industry

The gyms are packed, the diet cookbooks are flying off the shelves, and smokers are struggling to kick the habit. It’s the resolution season, and surveys say half of the top 10 most popular new year’s goals aim for better...more

Social Media & Non-Competition Clauses

In our earlier post (Are Non-Competition Restrictions Enforceable?), we reviewed “restrictive covenants” - these are clauses under which employees are bound by restrictions such as non-competition restrictions,...more

Does Your 2014 “To Do” List Include Updating Your Company’s Trade Secret Protections?

As you consider the tasks you did not quite finish in 2013 and look ahead to 2014, we recommend including on your to-do list a review of your company’s practices and procedures for protecting its valuable, proprietary...more

Here's One Good Way to Anticipate Top Business & Legal Trends in 2014

If the past is prologue, what better way to consider the interests, needs, and concerns of business leaders and consumers in the new year than to look at what captured their attention in 2013? And so...more

Twas the Night Before Christmas -- Non-Compete Style

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the company; A disgruntled employee kept saying “please jump with me.” She was trying to line up a grand, mass departure; Of which she was certain no one could...more

Ownership of Business-Related Social Media Accounts

Social media platforms have become an increasingly important means for companies to build and manage their brands and to interact with their customers, in many cases eclipsing companies’ traditional “.com” websites. Social...more

Willful Blindness on Trade Secrets: Employers Could Pay a Heavy Price

A recent trial experience provided an extraordinary lesson on the significant legal exposure employers face when hiring away employees from a competitor. I recently completed a jury trial in which my client obtained a $22.7...more

Ice Storms, My Secret Internet And Other Myths

Winter is around the corner. On the calendar, however, it’s not yet here. Surely Mother Nature is aware of this. Still, an ice storm currently engulfs large swaths of our nation and is leaving many of us without power or...more

Employment Law Commentary -- Volume 25, Issue 11 -- November 2013: Trade Secret Protection From the Silicon Valley to the Silicon...

For the two million Californians who have left the state in the past decade, Texas has been the most popular destination. Further, 254 California companies moved some or all of their work and jobs out of state— frequently to...more

Sorting Laundry: California Court Reaffirms Scope Of Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Angelica Textile Services, Inc. v. Park, No. D062405 (October 15, 2013): A California Court of Appeal recently held that claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and unfair competition are not “displaced” or...more

Huge Verdict In Trade Secrets Case

It’s a little out of this blog’s Southeastern focus area, but a $22.7MM verdict in a Minnesota trade secrets and non-compete case, as reported by the West Central Tribune at wctrib.com, should be a reminder to all employees...more

Divorces, Community Property and Patents — the Problem of the Ex-Spouse

Many universities have standard patent assignment agreements that assign inventions of a university employee to the university. But what if the inventor is married? Or, what if the inventor marries during his or her...more

Seek Advice In Drafting Trade Secrets And Confidentiality Agreements

In an article recently posted at mondaq.com, Richard Stobbe provides several excellent examples of why employers should consult with their counsel when drafting trade secrets and confidentiality agreements, instead of copying...more

Implementing a Trade Secrets Protection Program

In the business world, protection of trade secrets can make the difference between success and failure, or profit and loss. This post seeks to show you how to protect your company’s trade secrets so that in the event one of...more

Voluntary Work Held to be Work for Hire in World of Warcraft Suit

In Lewis v. Activision Blizzard, Inc., No. 4:12-cv-01096-CW (N.D. Cal. Oct. 17, 2013), an employee of Blizzard brought suit against the company for copyright infringement, alleging ownership of voiceover work used in the...more

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