Labor & Employment Science, Computers & Technology Civil Remedies

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White Collar Watch - July 2014

In This Issue: - Move over Big Pharma: Health care is not the only industry susceptible to False Claims Act scrutiny - Third Circuit affirms dismissal of False Claims Act suit, citing contract...more

False claims by any other name: Medtronic and Omnicare cases illustrate the interplay between the False Claims Act and other...

- Government allegations of Medtronic’s alleged incentives to physicians for prescribing its medical devices lead company, while denying wrongdoing, to settle False Claims Act suit predicated on Anti-Kickback...more

Massachusetts Federal Court Refuses to Transform Non-Disclosure Agreement into a Non-Competition Agreement

A recent decision from the Massachusetts federal district court serves as a good reminder to Massachusetts employers that courts are unlikely to view the breach of a non-disclosure/confidentiality agreement as justification...more

White Collar Watch - June 2014

In This Issue: - Whistleblower’s one-two punch: Confidential informant/employee spurs criminal investigation, then successfully sues individual company owner in qui tam action - Alleged illegal recruiting for...more

First Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FCA Complaint Based on First-to-File Bar

The First Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of United States ex rel. Wilson v. Bristol-Myers Squibb, Inc. under the False Claims Act’s (“FCA”) “first-to-file” provision, which prohibits any person “other than the...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

A Weapon Against Hackers on the Home Front

Although headlines have focused on foreign cyberattacks, plenty are U.S.-based—and can be remedied. Over the past year the national press has repeatedly reported on the vulner­ability of our intellectual property to...more

Whistleblowing at the Right Time for the SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Office of the Whistleblower rejected a claim for an award earlier in the summer because it was not "original" under the SEC's whistleblower law. The claimant originally filed a...more

Does District Court Dismissal of Declined Qui Tam Threaten Future DOJ False Claims Enforcement?

The U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has taken the unusual step of appealing a federal district court’s dismissal of a declined qui tam brought under the federal and multiple state false claims acts (FCA). Could the...more

The Conflicting Rules on Employee Data Theft

In all jurisdictions the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. 1030, the federal computer crime statute, applies to former employees who steal data from the company computer, but in two federal circuits it does not...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - May 2013: Software Programmer Criminally Charged For Hacking Former Employer's Network

The federal Department of Justice recently filed criminal charges against a 41-year old software programmer and system manager who hacked into his former employer's computer network, causing $90,000 in damage. The complaint...more

Federal Law Provides Enhanced Trade Secret Protection for Employers

Most people know that an employee who misuses his employer’s confidential information may be subject to damages in a civil lawsuit. Many states have enacted a Uniform Trade Secrets Act that allows an employer to pursue a...more

News From Our Own Vermont Backyard: Proposed Legislation On Password Privacy And Ownership Of Inventions

Last month the Vermont Legislature kicked off its 2013-2014 Legislative Session, and already a couple of bills have our attention here at the IP Stone....more

Another Court Interprets the CFAA Narrowly

A Southern District of New York judge has joined the growing trend of federal courts that interpret the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to preclude allow recovery for misappropriation of computer information....more

Confidentiality and Invention Assignment Agreements Enforceable Against Former Employee

Generally speaking, noncompete agreements are often rigidly construed by courts and reviewed in terms of whether they are reasonably limited with respect to time and place. On the other hand, confidentiality agreements and...more

Medical Device Industry Remains a Hotbed for NonCompete Litigation

A recent opinion stemming from a lawsuit between two competitors in the medical device industry reminds us of the old adage “be careful what you wish for.” In Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc., the plaintiff seemed to...more

Who Owns a LinkedIn Account?

A Federal District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently addressed the issue of ownership of an employers LinkedIn account created by a former employee....more

High Court May Rule on Computer Law Question

On July 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit became the first circuit to adopt the Ninth Circuit’s holding in U.S. v. Nosal, 676 F.3d 854 (9th Cir. 2012), that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act does not...more

Fourth Circuit Blunts CFAA As A Remedy Against A Rogue Employee

Let's say a client calls telling you that a valued former employee has left to work for a competitor. Just before leaving, the employee emailed himself a substantial number of your client's confidential documents. He's now...more

Protecting Your Company’s Digital Information From Departing Employees 4th Circuit Weighs in on Liability Under the Computer Fraud...

This past Thursday, July 26th, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued an opinion addressing liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for departing employees who access and copy computer...more

State Appeals Court Concludes Employer Not Protected by CDA Section 230 in Employee Stalking Case, and Seems to Shrink the Statute...

An Illinois state appeals court recently held that although an employer that provided network connectivity to its employees is an “interactive service provider” under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, the statute...more

The 9th Circuit: Employees Are Free to Steal from the Company Computers

Yesterday the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion holding that limiting an employee’s access to the company computers solely for business purposes, i.e. not stealing the data for a competitor, cannot be the...more

Company computer policies risk becoming obsolete -- Policies must reflect new laws and court decisions on data theft, social...

Have your client companies’ policies kept pace with changes in the law affecting computer technology? New statutes and court decisions relating to computer technology affect every business. Many companies overlook...more

The Rise of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Case

Major changes are in the works for the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. In the past ten years, the CFAA has moved from obscurity into the limelight as Congressional amendments drastically increased its...more

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: ‘Authorization’ in Flux and the Ninth Circuit Dilemma

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (‘‘CFAA’’) was passed by Congress in 1984 to address the unauthorized access and use of computers and computer networks. Although the CFAA is primarily a criminal statute, the 1994 amendment...more

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