News & Analysis as of

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick Proposes Elimination of Most Non-Compete Agreements and Adoption of Uniform Trade Secrets Act

What you need to know: Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently proposed legislative reform that would abolish non-compete agreements made in the technology and life sciences sectors, as well as other, currently...more

State Court Holds Employers Must Protect Trade Secrets From Independent Contractors

A recent Massachusetts Superior Court decision held that employers risk losing trade secrets and confidential information if they do not protect that information from independent contractors. The court held that employers who...more

Willful Blindness on Trade Secrets: Employers Could Pay a Heavy Price

A recent trial experience provided an extraordinary lesson on the significant legal exposure employers face when hiring away employees from a competitor. I recently completed a jury trial in which my client obtained a $22.7...more

Seek Advice In Drafting Trade Secrets And Confidentiality Agreements

In an article recently posted at mondaq.com, Richard Stobbe provides several excellent examples of why employers should consult with their counsel when drafting trade secrets and confidentiality agreements, instead of copying...more

HALLOWEEN EDITION: Cookie Maker Gets Early Treat When Court Protects Halloween Cookie Recipe As A Trade Secret

In September 1995, Philadelphia-area cookie manufacturer Sweetzel, Inc. got an early Halloween treat when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania found that the company’s cookie recipes and customer...more

Keeping Secrets: Trade Secrets and Confidentiality Agreements

If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, you have probably encountered non-disclosure agreements or agreements with a similar title: confidentiality agreements, CAs, NDAs or confidential disclosure agreements. These...more

Non-Disclosure Agreements: A Cautionary Tale

Agreements which contain non-disclosure obligations (also known as a confidentiality agreements, CAs, NDAs or confidential disclosure agreements) are common in many industries - from licensing deals to franchise agreements,...more

It’s Not Just Boilerplate! Best practices for drafting collaboration agreements to protect your IP

In This Presentation: - 1. The collaboration conundrum - 2. The Tekmira case: a cautionary tale Outline - 3. Best practices for drafting specific provisions Please see full presentation below for more...more

McAfee & Taft tIPsheet - March 2013: Keys to ensuring the secrecy of trade secrets

“Three can keep a secret if two are dead.” — Benjamin Franklin. In the shrinking world of social media, privacy seems to be an all but forgotten concept. But in the world of business, trade secrets are critical to...more

Another California Court Awards Attorneys' Fees in Bad-Faith Trade Secret and Patent Inventorship Lawsuit

Earlier this month, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California awarded more than $11 million in attorneys' fees and costs to three trade secret defendants, finding that plaintiffs who had raised a claim...more

Engineers Convicted For Theft Of Trade Secrets

Two engineers were recently convicted under federal law for stealing trade secrets from Goodyear. (United States v. Howley and Roberts, 2013 WL 399345 (Feb. 4, 2013 6th Cir.).) Charles Roberts and Sean Howley worked as...more

Former Employee’s Facebook Post About Settlement Breached Confidentiality Provision In Settlement Agreement: Tribunal Reduced...

Trish-Ann Tremblay had entered into a settlement agreement with her former employer, 1168531 Ontario Inc., on September 13, 2011, with respect to the Human Rights Application she had filed against 1168531 Ontario Inc.. The...more

Expansion Of The Economic Espionage Act Broadens Protection For Trade Secrets

In the summer of 2009, in an office at Goldman Sachs, in the waning hours of his last day of employment, a computer programmer named Sergey Aleynikov encrypted more than 500,000 lines of source code from Goldman’s proprietary...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

Intellectual Property Rights Include Protection for Trade Secrets

Many businesses rely on keeping trade secrets confidential. Coca-Cola has successfully kept their formula secret for many years. Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in a lengthy trade secret battle over phones and tablets....more

S.C. Supreme Court Upholds Confidentiality and “Holdover” Inventions Assignment Clauses in Employment Agreement

Originally published in MidlandsBiz.com on December 18, 2012. In its most significant employment law decision of 2012, Milliken & Co. v. Morin, the South Carolina Supreme Court addressed the enforceability of provisions...more

Watch Your Assets Series Part Four: Key Injunction Strategies

In this series of blog posts, we have examined the use of injunctive relief in state and federal courts in response to employees who have misappropriated confidential information and trade secrets, who have solicited clients...more

Preventing Unfair Competition In The Absence Of A Non-compete Agreement

You’ve read the tile of this article. There it is, up above. Let me repeat: Preventing Unfair Competition in the Absence Of A Noncompete Agreement What I really want you to focus on is the last part. The part that reads:...more

Watch Your Assets Part Two: Best Practices for Protecting Confidential Information

One of the primary reasons for using a restrictive covenant agreement is to protect a company’s confidential information and trade secrets. By implementing certain behaviors, a company can significantly enhance its chances of...more

Protecting Your Information Assets – Part I

Part I: The Employment Agreement/Confidentiality Agreement It is common for a business to maintain information that gives it an edge over its competition. Such information can be as varied as customer lists, supplier...more

Two Recent High-Stakes Trade Secrets Decisions Demonstrate Broad Protection and Potential for Large Exposure

When a party breaches a confidentiality agreement, claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of the confidentiality agreement are often asserted simultaneously. As two recent federal court decisions based on...more

Top 10 Best Practices To Maintain Trade Secrets

Under California law, Civil Code, Section 3426.1(d), trade secrets are defined: “‘Trade secret’ means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that: (1)...more

Top 10 Best Practices to Maintain Trade Secrets

Under California law, Civil Code, Section 3426.1(d), trade secrets are defined: “‘Trade secret’ means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that: (1)...more

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