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The Current State of Trade Secret Law and how the New Federal Statute Will Shape the Landscape

Trade Secret Protection Schemes: •State: Uniform Trade Secrets Act –Adopted in various forms between 1979 and 2013 •Common Law –New York and Massachusetts •Federal: Defend Trade Secrets Act –Amends the...more

First Round of DTSA Complaints Alleging Misappropriation Activity Both Before and After DTSA’s Enactment: Will They Stick?

Following President Obama’s signing of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA” or the “Act”) into law last week, parties are beginning to file lawsuits asserting claims under the DTSA. As widely reported, before the...more

Did You Tell Them? Employers' Notice Obligations Regarding Whistleblowers Under the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act

The federal Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA"), an amendment to the Theft of Trade Secrets Act, became effective May 12, 2016. The DTSA provides trade secret owners an avenue to pursue claims for trade secret misappropriation...more

Certain Provisions of California Resale Royalty Act Are Preempted by the Copyright Act

On April 11, 2016, in Estate of Robert Graham, et al. v. Sotheby’s, Inc., D.C. No. 2:11-cv-08604-MWF-FFM (C.D. Cal. 2016), U.S. District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald concluded that certain provisions of the California...more

The Right of Publicity: How Much Control Do NFL Players Have Over Their Names?

How much control should athletes have over their names? Not an unlimited amount, according to one recent court ruling. Late last month, in Dryer v. National Football League, the Eighth Circuit denied an appeal by three...more

Central District of California Holds That the California Resale Royalty Act Is Preempted by Federal Copyright Law

As previously discussed on this blog, the validity of the California Resale Royalty Act (the “RRA,” Civil Code Section 986), a 1976 law that requires resellers of fine art to pay a royalty of 5 percent to the artists behind...more

California Resale Royalty Act Claims Dismissed as Preempted by Copyright Law, Despite 1980 Ninth Circuit Holding to the Contrary

Just three months after the Supreme Court denied certiorari review of last year’s Ninth Circuit decision finding California’s Resale Royalty Act unconstitutional under the Dormant Commerce Clause in part—but also valid in...more

NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Denied - J. F. Dryer et al. v. The National Football League

The US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a district court summary judgment in favor of defendants, denying plaintiffs’ publicity rights claims in footage and interviews made by the defendants and finding that...more

POM Wonderful LLC v. Coca Cola Co.: legal battle nearly over, but industry litigation landscape forever changed…

On March 18, 2016, Pom Wonderful LLC made closing arguments in its trial against Coca-Cola for the alleged misleading marketing of a pomegranate-blueberry juice which contained only trace amounts of either pomegranate or...more

Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. v. TD - Ameritrade Services Co. Inc. USDC, C.D. California, March 14, 2016

District court holds Lions Gate's trademark-related claims under Lanham Act and related state law are preempted by Copyright Act in suit over financial services ad campaign that used modified version of famous line "Nobody...more

Intellectual Property and Technology: Players’ Hail Mary Pass Incomplete: Copyright Trumps Right of Publicity in NFL Dispute...

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit stopped three former NFL players at the goal line when it rejected the players’ appeal in their likeness lawsuit against the NFL. The three former players,...more

Former NFL Players’ Right of Publicity Claims Get Sidelined—Will We Hear From The Replay Officials?   

In Dryer v. The National Football League, three former gridiron gladiators who played in the NFL had their claims for right of publicity under state law tossed out by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. These three players...more

Dryer v. The National Football League (USCA, Eighth Circuit, February 26, 2016 )

In action involving films produced by NFL containing historical game footage, Eighth Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL, holding that former players’ right of publicity claims are pre-empted by Copyright Act,...more

Patentable Subject Matter after Alice: Best Practices for Responding to 35 U.S.C. § 101 Rejections

It has been over 20 months since the Supreme Court handed down the landmark decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l, effectively limiting the scope of patent-eligible subject matter. In particular, software and business...more

Litigation Alert: 8th Circuit Clarifies Reach of Copyright Act in Preempting Right of Publicity Claims

8th Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of NFL on former NFL players’ right of publicity claim, finding the claim to be preempted by the Copyright Act. Courts around the country have long struggled to define and...more

Upcoming Federal Circuit Decision Presents Opportunity for Clarification of Patentable Subject Matter

Since Alice, consistently defining the bounds of statutory subject matter in computer arts confounds even the most experienced attorneys. E-commerce software combining visual elements of multiple parties’ websites is patent...more

Texas Supreme Court Considers Whether Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act Can Keep Corporate Representatives From the Courtroom

In December 2014, Schlumberger subsidiary M-I LLC (d/b/a M-I SWACO) filed a writ of mandamus with the Texas Supreme Court over a trade secrets case decided in Harris County District Court. In its writ, M-I SWACO alleged that...more

New Year, New Progress: The Defend Trade Secrets Act Reports Out From the Senate Judiciary Committee

As previously reported on TSW, the road to federal right of action for trade secrets misappropriation has been a long one. In the absence of a federal trade secrets law, the Economic Espionage Act (“EEA”) and various state...more

New Georgia Statute on Bad Faith Patent Cases May Discourage Both Weak and Strong Cases from Being Brought in Georgia

Plaintiff Walter Farmer (“Farmer”) initiated suit in September 2014 asserting infringement of claim 1 of his U.S. Patent No. 7,362,007 (the “’007 Patent”), issued April 22, 2008, and covering uninterruptable power supply...more

Patent Is Invalid Under Alice

The patent-in-suit is directed to redeeming discount offers by associating a machine-readable code with identifying items to be offered at a discount. Defendant asserts that the technology is patent ineligible under Alice....more

Strong Support for Sequenom’s Petition for Rehearing En Banc

In Ariosa Diagnostics Inc. v. Sequenom Inc., 788 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2015), a Federal Circuit panel held that Sequenom Inc.’s prenatal diagnosis patent claims patent ineligible subject matter under the two-step test of Mayo...more

Uber Takes A Ride Back To State Court: Federal Court Dismisses Conversion Claim, Remands Trade Secret Misappropriation Case Back...

Order on Motion to Remand, Kevin Halpern, et al., v. Uber Technologies, Inc., et al., 15-cv-02401-JSW (Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley) - Uber has faced its share of challenges of late, from the established taxi...more

Recent Developments on Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret Claims in the Fifth Circuit

For the latest on the copyright preemption doctrine (codified at 17 U.S.C. § 301(a)) look no further than the Fifth Circuit, which, together with its district courts, issued a string of recent decisions regarding the...more

Trade Secret Legislation Reintroduced in Congress (3rd Time)

Maybe the third time is the charm. After trying twice before, Congress is making another run at creating a federal claim for trade secret misappropriation. A bipartisan group of legislators from both congressional chambers,...more

State Law Claims Suffer “Awfully Big Adventure”: New York Court Finds Federal Copyright Preemption in Dispute over Peter Pan...

On June 8, 2015, the New York County Supreme Court dismissed with prejudice eight of twelve state law claims brought by a producer seeking damages for the purportedly unauthorized use of his music in a world-wide production...more

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