Labor & Employment Intellectual Property Business Torts

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Ex-SanDisk Employee Arrested In Japan, Civil Suits Filed In The Wake Of Alleged Flash Memory Trade Secrets Misappropriation

Technology firms SanDisk and Toshiba recently filed trade secrets lawsuits on opposite sides of the Pacific, each alleging misappropriation by a third party stemming from the two companies’ joint venture....more

Striking the Right Balance in a North Carolina Non-Compete Can Be Tricky

North Carolina companies who rely on non-compete agreements to protect their trade secrets and proprietary information may want to review their agreements in light of two recent court decisions....more

Access Of Computer System With Log-In Credentials Is Not Unlawful “Hacking”

A California federal court in Enki Corporation v. Freedman held that a former employee’s access of the employer’s computer systems through his log-in credentials did not amount to unlawful hacking under either the Computer...more

State Court Holds Employers Must Protect Trade Secrets From Independent Contractors

A recent Massachusetts Superior Court decision held that employers risk losing trade secrets and confidential information if they do not protect that information from independent contractors. The court held that employers who...more

Payback Time: Using The Faithless Servant Doctrine To Combat Trade Secret Theft

Employers know all too well that their own employees are often the most likely people to misappropriate their confidential and proprietary information and their valuable trade secrets. Employers have plenty of weapons at...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

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

Covenants Not To Compete – Fourth DCA Considers A New Fine Question (Or Two)

I’ve written many times about Section 16600 of California’s Business & Professions Code which, with limited exceptions, voids covenants not to compete. See TRO Issued Enjoining Breach Of Non-Compete Agreement Clauses, No...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

Three Steps That Allow Companies to Use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for Misuse of Computers and Information – Even in the...

Key Takeaway: Companies that follow these 3 steps can use the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as a tool to combat the misuse of their computers (and information) by (1) actively monitoring for misuses, (2) taking reasonable...more

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Limitations Accrued With Awareness of Unauthorized Access–Not Identity of Perpetrator

SUMMARY: The two year statute of limitations for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim began to run when the plaintiff had an awareness of an unauthorized access into its computer system even if the plaintiff did not know the...more

Taking Legal Control Of The Company Social Media Account

What happens when the employee who set up the company’s LinkedIn account leaves? ...more

Timeline Design for Litigation: When to Use a Static Timeline

“I need a timeline.” This is how litigators often start in asking for legal graphics. This start to the graphics conversation makes sense because timelines are perhaps the most common type of legal graphic, and the most...more

Mere Employment Not Enough Consideration for Illinois Non-Compete

Mere Employment Not Enough Consideration for Non-Compete Provision Being employed for less than two years is not sufficient consideration for enforcing a non-compete agreement in Illinois, a state appellate court...more

Do you want to own a secret? What you should know about the new Texas trade secret law

Texas recently became the 47th state to adopt a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). The Texas UTSA, taking effect on September 1, 2013, aims to benefit the business community by bringing Texas trade secret law...more

Trade Secret Litigation Over Social Media: Is It Worth The Cost?

With the continually increasing popularity of social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, where members can be connected to friends, family members, co-workers, clients, and potential clients all by logging in...more

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Rep. Zoe Lofgren Proposes New Legislation, Including A Civil Cause Of Action For Trade Secret Misappropriation

We previously reported on the downpour of recent trade secret activity in Congress. Last week, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.) added to the deluge by introducing two bills bearing on trade secret misappropriation...more

Decisions Highlight Split In Application Of Computer Fraud And Abuse Act

Trade secret claims have historically derived from state common law causes of action and, subsequently, most states’ adoption of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which codifies that common law and generally proscribes the...more

New Laws Increase Criminal Liability For Disclosure Of Trade Secrets: Are You Protected?

Two new criminal laws underscore the value of trade secrets as a critical asset to a corporation. These new laws, the Trade Secrets Clarification Act (TSCA) and the Foreign and Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act...more

Speaking Of . . . Trade Secrets - Damages For Misappropriation Can Be Full Refund Of Ex-Employee’s Severance Pay

When your trade secrets are stolen, you might sue the ex-employee who stole them, or the competing business that’s now in possession of them, or both. What’s an appropriate measure of damages when your trade secrets are...more

Jurisdiction for an International Computer Fraud Lawsuit?

The proper jurisdiction for suing someone for engaging in computer fraud from a foreign country, directed at a company in the United States, is the place where the wrongfully accessed computer server is located if the...more

S.C. Supreme Court Upholds Confidentiality and “Holdover” Inventions Assignment Clauses in Employment Agreement

Originally published in MidlandsBiz.com on December 18, 2012. In its most significant employment law decision of 2012, Milliken & Co. v. Morin, the South Carolina Supreme Court addressed the enforceability of provisions...more

Preventing Unfair Competition In The Absence Of A Non-compete Agreement

You’ve read the tile of this article. There it is, up above. Let me repeat: Preventing Unfair Competition in the Absence Of A Noncompete Agreement What I really want you to focus on is the last part. The part that reads:...more

App Helps Determine Valid Trade Secret or Non-Compete

A new informational app for the iPad and iPhone to help employers and employees better understand what is a trade secret or a covenant not to compete has been released by Balough Law Offices, LLC. The Trade Secrets app...more

Dispute over Ownership of Ex-Employee's LinkedIn Account Highlights Significance of Robust Social Media Policies

This case underscores the significance for employers to create and maintain social media policies that address the control and ownership of company-sponsored social media accounts. ...more

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