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Industrial Espionage and the Defend Trade Secrets Act

American corporations are facing an ever increasing threat of misappropriation of their valuable trade secrets through industrial espionage, defined as the theft of a company’s trade secrets by an actor intending to convert...more

Sharing of Passwords Under Certain Circumstances Unlawful

Many companies have experienced the departure of an employee and the elimination of that former employees access to the company’s computers and networks. In the recent case of USA v. Nosal, D.C. No. 3:08-cr-00237-EMC-1 (July...more

Ninth Circuit Interprets “Without Authorization” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

When we last left David Nosal, he had escaped liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after convincing some of his former colleagues at executive search firm Korn/Ferry to use their log-in credentials to download...more

Taking a Walk Back to a Kinder, Gentler Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

We don’t usually talk about four-year-old court decisions in the first instance here. But the Ninth Circuit has issued a pair of noteworthy opinions interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the last few weeks. And...more

CFAA Double Feature: Ninth Circuit Issues Two Important Decisions on the Scope of Liability Related to Data Scraping and...

This past week, the Ninth Circuit released two important decisions that clarify the scope of liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. The Act was originally designed to target...more

Ninth Circuit Rules that CFAA Imposes Criminal Penalties When Terminated Users Try To Access Systems With Borrowed Passwords

It can be a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) to “access[] a protected computer without authorization.” The CFAA clearly applies when criminals with no connection to a company try to force their...more

The Ninth Circuit Addresses the Scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

This week, the Ninth Circuit clarified the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) in upholding the defendant’s criminal conviction in United States v. David Nosal....more

Supreme Court Update: Rjr Nabisco, Inc. V. European Community (15-138), Encino Motorcars, Llc V. Navarro (14-415), Kingdomware...

Having cleared some near-blockbusters off the table on Friday (everything's relative this term), we've still got an eight-case backlog to get through before the final decision day of OT15 on Monday. Since we've got an even...more

The Supreme Court - June 2016 #5

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in five cases today: RJR Nabisco, Inc. v. European Community, No. 15-138: The European Union and 26 of its members filed an action in District Court against...more

How employers can stop departing employees taking client lists with them

When an employee departs for a role with a competitor, there is often a risk that the employee might take confidential client details with them, with potentially damaging consequences for the employer. However, a recent court...more

The Landmark Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) amends the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which provides for federal criminal penalties for foreign economic espionage and trade secret theft and adds new federal civil trade...more

The “Cannibal Cop” and Protection of Computerized Data

In an unusual criminal case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently weighed in on an important question at the intersection of employment law and data security. The decision will likely have implications wherever...more

Caught Stealing More Than Bases, St. Louis Cardinals Teach Trade Secret Safety to All Employers

The recent hacking attack against the Houston Astros is a wake-up call for all employers: no organization is safe from its adversaries’ attempts to steal proprietary information to gain a leg up in the competition. The...more

Fighting Back: Identifying Risks Posed by an Angry Current or Former Employee

Something lost is always in the last place you look (by definition). It can also sometimes be in the first. Although technology has made it possible for outsiders to manipulate and infiltrate your company’s systems...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

We Have Your Data. Pay Up or Else…

You wake on a Tuesday morning expecting to have an average day at work. You are skimming through the emails that came in while you were asleep, when you notice an email from one of your employees. He is not only giving his...more

Ex-Citadel Employee Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud And Theft Of Trade Secrets; Accomplice Left To Fight Trial Alone

Yihao “Ben” Pu is probably coming to grips with the phrases “crime doesn’t pay…” and “don’t do the crime unless you’re willing to do the time….” In federal court in Chicago, on Thursday, August 7, 2014, Pu, a former...more

Employment Law Commentary -- Volume 26, Issue June 2014 -- Protecting Trade Secrets Globally: Comparing The U.S. And EU

International attention to misappropriation of trade secrets has never been at a higher level. In early May 2014, a U.S. federal grand jury indicted several Chinese military officials for allegedly misappropriating trade...more

Car Jacking: Former Nissan Employees in Japan Arrested for Suspected Trade Secret Theft

On May 13, 2014, a former employee of Nissan in Japan was arrested by the Economic Affairs Division of the Kanagawa Prefectural Police on suspicion of trade secret theft. The arrest was made under the trade secret provisions...more

Things To Avoid When You Leave Your Job: Using Drone Trade Secrets To Blackmail Your Former Employer

Trade secrets cases in the employment context usually provide valuable lessons on what not to do when leaving a job. The recent conviction of Stephen Marty Ward by a Washington federal jury imparts one such lesson...more

RELEASED ON (VERY LITTLE) BOND: Suspect Accused Of Preparing To Flee U.S. With Gore Trade Secrets Is Released On Nominal Bond

A federal magistrate judge has released on bond the accused trade-secrets larcenist and former W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. employee Kwang Seoung Jeon, who was arrested as he allegedly tried to flee the United States for his...more

U.S. v. Yeh Illustrates The Challenges In International Trade Secrets Cases

On March 14, 2014, a Texas jury acquitted former Texas Instruments (“TI”) employee Ellen Chen Yeh on all counts brought against her arising from her admitted downloading of Texas Instruments proprietary information before...more

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

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

BREAKING: David Nosal Sentenced To Prison On CFAA Computer Intrusion And Trade Secret Charges

Former Korn/Ferry recruiter David Nosal was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on Wednesday for violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Economic Espionage Act. In April, a federal jury in...more

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