Labor & Employment Intellectual Property Civil Procedure

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Can your social media contacts be a trade secret of your employer? Maybe.

This is a relatively new legal subject, so there isn’t much law out there.  In December, 2011, a Pennsylvania federal court answered this question in the negative.  In the case of Eagle v. Morgan, Linda Eagle, the founder of...more

Must a Company Reveal Trade Secrets to Prove Trade Secret Theft

When you learn a former employee has stolen your trade secrets to take them across the street to benefit a competitor, your quickest remedy is to sue him and try to shut him down through an injunction. Oftentimes, the new...more

Is your confidential information “property” if it does not qualify as a trade secret?

The answer likely is “no” according to a recent decision from a federal court in San Francisco. The plaintiff in that case, a data storage company, alleged that a competitor misappropriated its trade secrets by illegally...more

Has the "Inevitable Disclosure" Doctrine Found a Foothold in North Carolina?

Twenty years ago, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in PepsiCo, Inc. v. Redmond, 54 F.3d 1262 (7th Cir. 1995) advanced the “inevitable disclosure” doctrine in trade secret misappropriation cases. The doctrine essentially...more

Supreme Court Update: TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA V. Sandoz (13-584); Department Of Homeland Security V. Maclean (13-894); Holt V....

Greetings, Court fans! While we in New Haven were more-or-less spared having to dig out from "Winter Storm Juno" (aka "snowbigdeal"), it's taken us a while to dig out from the Court's recent pile of opinions. With this...more

Court of Appeal of Alberta Upholds Employers Anton Piller Order

Among the Court of Appeal of Alberta’s first decisions of the New Year, was its decision in Peters & Co Limited v Ward, 2015 ABCA 6 (CanLII), regarding the matter of an Anton Piller Order obtained by an employer, an...more

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Reminds ERISA Fiduciaries to Monitor Service Providers

In August 2014, GRQ Investment Management, LLC (GRQ) sued Financial Engines, Inc. and Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (collectively, Financial Engines), alleging that Financial Engines’ sale of account management and advisory...more

UPDATE-The Employees Strike Back: High-Tech Giants Increase Settlement Offer in Wage-Fixing Suit

As discussed in my prior blog post, Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe stand accused of conspiring not to poach one another’s employees in order to keep wages down.  Attorneys representing the class-action employees agreed to...more

Swiping from the Swoosh: Nike sues former shoe designers for trade secret theft

Nike recently sued three of its former shoe designers who defected to Adidas, claiming the trio brought trade secrets with them, including Nike’s strategic development plans, design drawings, and other information “tied” to...more

Show Me the License: Is Your Company Ready?

Good record-keeping is a burden. But doing so is important. Here is an example of why it is important to keep good records of all software licenses....more

Secret Connections: LinkedIn contacts may be a trade secret

A California court recently determined that an employee’s LinkedIn contacts could be considered a “trade secret” in a case where the employee retained his contacts after he left the company and began a competing venture....more

Lost in the Cloud: Dropbox, Data “Insecurity,” and Employee Shenanigans

For the uninitiated, Dropbox and other similar tools—such as SkyDrive, Google Drive, or Cubby—allow a user to log in to an account, upload documents or files to the cloud, and then access or download them from any device,...more

Fabricating Evidence and Losing Arbitration

Seagate Tech., LLC v. W. Digital Corp - Addressing an issue of whether an arbitrator inappropriately sanctioned a party that had been found to have fabricated evidence and whether the arbitrator refused to consider...more

50,000 Reasons for Employees to Think Twice Before Taking Their Employer's Copyright Works and Confidential Information

An ex-employee was recently ordered to pay his former employer AUD50,000 in damages after the Federal Court (Court) held that the employee had infringed copyright and breached his employment agreement and duty of...more

Supreme Court Update: Warger V. Shauers (13-517), Integrity Staffing Solutions V. Busk (13-433) And Order List

We're back with summaries of the first signed decisions of the term, Warger v. Shauers (13-517) on whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) precludes juror testimony during a proceeding in which a party seeks to secure a new...more

Social Media and Non-Solicitation Covenants – Another LinkedIn Cautionary Tale, but this One for Employers

Those of you who joined us for our November 13 webinar on “Post-Employment Solicitation of Customers & Employees in the Social Media Age” will be interested in a recent social media-related non-solicitation case from...more

Arizona Trade Secrets Grow New Teeth

Over the last 18 months, the courts had diluted Arizona trade secret protections, notwithstanding the recent criminalization of trade secret theft by the AZ legislature. Today, however, the Arizona Supreme Court breathed new...more

November 2014: Appellate Practice Update

Preview of the U.S. Supreme Court’s October 2014 Term. The Supreme Court has begun its October 2014 Term with a docket featuring more constitutional and criminal law cases than business cases, but a few business cases before...more

Employee’s LinkedIn Contacts Once Again Become Focus of Trade Secrets Claim

Following up on the piece I wrote with Jim Ninivaggi, “Whose LinkedIn Profile is it Anyway,” the information contained in an employee’s LinkedIn contacts were discussed in the context of trade secrets in a recent California...more

She Liked It. She Really, Really Liked It: Federal District Court Holds Facebook Fan Page Manager Doesn’t Own “Likes”

A federal district court broke new social media law ground in August 2014 when it held in favor of the cable network Black Entertainment Television (BET) in a suit brought by the founder of an unofficial Facebook fan page for...more

Tennessee Court Of Appeals Issues New Guidance On Trade Secret Issues

On August 19, 2014, the Tennessee Court of Appeals became the first Tennessee appellate court to address the scope to which Tennessee’s Uniform Trade Secret Act (TUTSA) preempts common law claims related to unfair competition...more

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

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