Confidential Information Trade Secrets

News & Analysis as of

Several Months Into Having Federal Protection for Trade Secrets: What Are We Learning?

It has been nearly five months since President Obama signed the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) on May 11, 2016, extending federal protection to trade secrets. In the past few months, employers around the country...more

Trade Secrets: Changes In The Law On Protection Of Trade Secrets In The United States And European Union

Concerns about trade secret theft have been increasing in both the United States and Europe in recent years. Traditionally, American law disfavored trade secret protection vis à vis patenting on the basis that publication of...more

Defend Trade Secrets Act – What Employers Need to Know

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA” or the “Act”) into law. Prior to enactment of the DTSA, the law governing trade secrets was left to the states, most of which have...more

Texas Appellate Court Affirms Injunctive Relief and $2.8 Million Award in Attorney’s Fees Against Former Employee in Trade Secret...

A Texas Court of Appeals held on August 22, 2016, that a former employer was entitled to $2.8 million in attorney’s fees against a former employee who used the employer’s information to compete against it. The Court reached...more

Attention, Businesses! Federal Law Provides New Tools for Protecting Your Trade Secrets

Your business’s formula for success may not be akin to a recipe for a secret sauce. But it is likely that you do not want to share with your direct competitors the unique business methods you have developed over time or your...more

Franchise Relationships, Personal Information and Trade Secret Liability

Corporate entities that share confidential personal information with each other, including those in franchise relationships, should strongly consider potential privacy and trade secret risks and consider available alternative...more

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

August 2016: Seizures as a Remedy Under the New Federal Trade Secrets Act

On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), creating a new federal cause of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets. Prior to the DTSA, trade secret claims were governed by state law....more

Court Dismisses Case Filed Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act

Earlier this year, we notified you about the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) and how it affects employers. On August 8, 2016, a U. S. District Judge in the Southern District of Florida dismissed one of...more

Ninth Circuit Rules on Meaning of “Without Authorization” under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Last month, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the criminal conviction of an individual for accessing a computer “without authorization” in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). U.S. v. Nosal (9th Cir., July 5,...more

Sparks Fly in Ninth Circuit’s Nosal II Opinion

As many loyal TSW readers know, we’ve been watching the ongoing saga involving ex-Korn Ferry recruiter David Nosal wind its way through the courts since the early days of this blog. And last month, the highly anticipated...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Business Lessons from the Database Hack of the Houston Astros"

Christopher Correa, a former scout for the St. Louis Cardinals, was recently sentenced to almost four years in prison for hacking the Houston Astros player-personnel database. While it seems far-fetched that hacking would...more

Did You Know Whistleblowers Can Divulge Trade Secrets?

The prevalence of employees identifying themselves as “whistleblowers” has expanded in recent years due to expansion of federal and state whistleblower rights. Recently, a recently enacted federal law, the Defend Trade...more

We Traced The Trade Secret Leak … It’s Coming From Inside The Business

Seyfarth Synopsis: Protecting trade secrets from employee theft requires more than using an NDA when onboarding new employees. If businesses want to protect their confidential information, they need to take a cradle-to-grave...more

Federal Precedents Under the DTSA Have Arrived

While the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”) has only been in effect for a few months, the first wave of cases raising DTSA claims have started to generate federal decisions. In what appears to be the first substantive...more

Can Using Social Media Lead to a Lawsuit?

In an era where technology is not only constantly evolving, but prevalent in nearly every aspect of our lives, it is only fitting to discuss the legal implications of social media. This includes everything from defamation...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

Pokémon Go – Employees Stay: A Primer on Florida Non-Competition Agreements

Pokémon Go is the newest craze to hit smartphones, finding colossal success in America. Some estimates claim that five percent of all android users had installed the game on their phones within one week of launch. Nintendo’s...more

Navigating Non-Compete and Other Key Talent Issues: A Primer for Employers

Finding new customers and growing sales and market share are the Holy Grail. One way to achieve these objectives is to hire talented sales professionals or managers from competitors. These individuals already know the...more

Ninth Circuit Vastly Expands Scope of Criminal, Civil Liability for Computer Fraud

In a pair of highly anticipated decisions, the Ninth Circuit significantly reshaped criminal and civil liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The court’s recent decisions in United States v. Nosal...more

Court Upholds Conviction Of Ex-Employee For Conspiring To Access Company Data Through “Shared” Password

Is password sharing a crime? It can be under the right circumstances, according to last week’s decision in United States v. Nosal. In Nosal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the conviction of a former...more

Sons of Cyberlock: Recent Decisions Underscore Challenges in Drafting Enforceable Federal Contracting Teaming Agreements

Teammates pursuing federal contracts should draft their teaming agreements with care to avoid unintended consequences. The Pitfalls of Non-Specific Teaming Agreements - Among other issues, teammates cannot...more

Pokémon Go Presents Confidentiality, Trade Secret and Privilege Concerns for Users Who Also Use Google Accounts for Business...

The newest, hottest game, Pokémon Go, has already been downloaded over 7.5 million times on iOS and Android phones since being released less than a week ago. The free-to-download game is bringing in $1.6 million in daily...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 Freedom of Information Act Amended: Process and Pitfalls

On June 30, 2016, President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-185, which made significant changes to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, et seq. (“FOIA”). FOIA can be a great...more

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