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SOX Claim Dismissed: Rejection of IP Assignment Clause Not Protected Activity

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently granted a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a SOX whistleblower retaliation claim, concluding that the plaintiff did not engage in protected activity. Fuqua...more

Alternative Theories To Address Former Employee Competition Where There Are No Covenants

A recent Connecticut Superior Court case demonstrates that all is not lost for an employer when a former employee without a non-compete or a non-solicitation covenant leaves and competes. Wentworth, DeAngelis & Kaufman, Inc....more

Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter #41

We are pleased to present the 41st edition of the Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter. This month, we highlight recent Supreme Court cases that address securities class actions, copyright law, and...more

Plaintiff’s Trade Secret Lawsuit Backfires!

We recently reported on good things (big verdicts) coming to trade secret plaintiffs that endure lengthy lawsuits. But good things don’t always come to those who wait. ...more

Fourth Circuit Rules On Admissibility Standard In Trade Secrets Case

In a per curiam opinion that began and ended with the same expression of deep reluctance, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a key ruling by the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia regarding the...more

Lack of Full Disclosure: Special Costs in Failed Anton Piller Order

In recent years, employers have increasingly sought and obtained Anton Piller Orders (“APO”) where a departing employee leaves with confidential information. The strategy is often extremely effective...more

Federal Court Reminds Trade Secret Owners That the Statute of Limitations Isn't Everything When it Comes to Misappropriation...

Several years after an employee leaves your company, you realize that he or she has been using confidential and proprietary information acquired from your business to compete against you. Your non-compete agreement with the...more

Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter #40

We are pleased to present the 40th edition of the Bernstein Shur Business and Commercial Litigation Newsletter. This month, we discuss fee shifting provisions in corporate bylaws, the settlement of high stakes smartphone...more

Trade Secrets: Made for TV--Former director owes royalty for stealing source code

Acrimony, anger, revenge, piracy, and a legal battle—these are often the ingredients of a prime-time television drama. But in this case, they are not the makings of a plot found on cable, Netflix, or DVD. Instead, they are...more

Civil Contempt Only Applies if Party Violates Explicit Terms of Order

Energy Recovery, Inc. v. Hauge - Addressing a civil contempt order under an abuse of discretion standard, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found in that a former employee was not in contempt because he...more

Federal Trade Secret Legislation Proposal Gains New Life

The prospects for federal trade secret legislation has heated up again as there appears to be bipartisan support for a new bill. After failing in previous years, Senator Coons (D) recently joined forces with Senator Hatch (R)...more

What Happens at Work Stays at Work – The California Employer’s Approach To A National Program for Restrictive Covenants and Trade...

In This Presentation: The California Landscape: A Refresher - Post-Termination Non-Competes – Unenforceable under Bus. & Prof. Code §16600 and Edwards v. Arthur Andersen – Other jurisdictions may...more

Federal Court Ruling in Pa. Narrows Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge has tossed an employer’s claims under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), holding that the CFAA does not extend to punish employees for the misuse of information that was accessed...more

Stop And Smell The Trade Secrets

What do Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, and Celine Dion all have in common? Until recently, their own unique perfumes produced by Givaudan Fragrances Corporation, the largest flavor and fragrance manufacturer in the world. ...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

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

Court Requires Employer To Pay Legal Fees Of Ex-Employee Charged With Trade Secret Theft

On October 16, 2013, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled that Goldman Sachs must advance the legal fees of a former employee charged with stealing Goldman’s source code. The order is the latest twist in a case that...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

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

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

California Appellate Court Reaffirms the Trade Secret Displacement (Preemption) Doctrine

Courts continue to define the scope of the emerging trade secret displacement doctrine, (commonly referred to as preemption) which stems from California's Uniform Trade Secrets Act ("UTSA"). The UTSA contains a relatively...more

Excuse Me Judge, Could I Be Heard On That?

A few months ago, I filed a motion for a TRO on behalf of a client. I thought I had a pretty rock-solid case. My client had discovered that in the weeks and months leading up to the resignation of a former employee, the...more

California Court of Appeal Clarifies the Limits of Statutory Trade Secret Displacement (Supersession)

In a case whose facts plainly compelled the outcome, California’s Fourth Appellate District held on October 15, 2013 in Angelica Textile Services, Inc. v. Jaye Park, No. D062405 that a claim for trade secret misappropriation...more

The Supreme Court: Cases to Watch in the October 2013 Term

This week marks the first Monday in October, which for Supreme Court watchers is a holiday: the start of a new term. While not everyone gets that excited about the new term, there are several cases that the Court intends to...more

Inevitable Disclosure of Trade Secrets Doctrine Still Disfavored In New York

While New York law in theory recognizes the "inevitable disclosure" doctrine, a federal district court there, in Janus et Cie v. Andrew Kahnke, recently reinforced the state's hostility to the doctrine by dismissing an...more

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