Along with a most unexpected first-place run by the Chicago White Sox, summer 2012 brought a number of significant developments in the area of noncompetes and trade secrets. Here are five pieces of advice based on these recent developments.
1. Carefully review computer use policies as a result of the continuing judicial split on the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Common scenario: An employee plans to resign from an employer and join a competitor. Prior to resigning, the employee uses his company computer to access confidential and proprietary information and then sends the information to his personal email account to use for the benefit of his new employer. The employer sues the former employee for misappropriation and other state law claims, and seeks federal jurisdiction by asserting a claim under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”).
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