Criminal Prosecution Trade Secrets

News & Analysis as of

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

Ninth Circuit Provides Clarification Concerning the Definition of Trade Secret

On July 5, 2016, in United States v. Nosal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the definition of “trade secret,” finding that data derived from a compilation of publicly available information can constitute a...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

California Employment Law Notes - July 2016

Employer Is Entitled To Recover $4 Million In Attorney's Fees From EEOC - CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, 578 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1642 (2016) - The EEOC filed suit against CRST (a trucking company) alleging...more

Money Is Time: A Note on Valuation and Sentencing in Criminal Trade Secrets Cases

Criminal trade secrets prosecutions tend to make national headlines, and for good reason. With fact patterns that often involve international intrigue, high technology, and millions of dollars in play, these cases can read...more

Stealing Bases Okay; Stealing Data Not So Much

On January 8, 2016, Christopher Correa, the former director of Baseball Development for the St. Louis Cardinals, pleaded guilty to each count of a five-count criminal information, charging him with felony violations of...more

Nosal Update: Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Password Sharing and Scope of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

On October 20, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and Judges M. Margaret McKeown and Stephen Reinhardt heard oral argument from the U.S. Department of Justice and counsel for David Nosal on...more

The Top Ten Things Every Commercial Litigator Must Know About the Fifth Amendment

Invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege is not just for scenes from Law & Order or Better Call Saul. These days commercial cases, especially those involving individual defendants, are commonly filled with claims that have...more

An Employee Stole Your Trade Secrets but You Cannot Prove It. Now What?

Consider the following, relatively uncommon scenario: an employee stole your trade secrets and went to work for a competitor. You know the employee did it, you just cannot prove it. Even with the best forensic analysis it is...more

500,000 Lines of Source Code: The New “Intangible Property”

Sergey Aleynikov’s six-year trade secret odyssey through all possible configurations of litigation, civil and criminal, federal and state, may at long last have come to an end after the New York Supreme Court recently...more

Confidential Documents Potentially Safer From Employee Misappropriation Says New Jersey's Supreme Court

On the heels of an appellate decision providing employees a virtual how-to manual to misuse and exploit confidential employer documents and safely provide them to a competitor, New Jersey's Supreme Court reversed course last...more

Another Aleynikov Trade Secrets Case Ends with Narrower Statute

In 2009, Sergey Aleynikov was a computer programmer employed by Goldman Sachs to write high-frequency trading code. He accepted an offer to join a new Chicago-based company, Teza Technologies. Before he left Goldman Sachs,...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

First Foreign Hacker Is Convicted In The United States Of Hacking Crimes Involving Theft Of Trade Secrets From American Companies

A 22-year-old Canadian hacker has been sentenced to federal prison by a Delaware court for engaging in a conspiracy to break into the computer networks of several large gaming companies, to steal trade secret and other...more

POTUS Declares Cybercrime a National Emergency, Announces New Penalties for Trade Secrets Theft

Declaring cybercrime a “national emergency,” President Obama today empowered Treasury to freeze assets that are the fruits of cybercrime, according to an Executive Order issued this afternoon. The agency can block money or...more

Chicago Court Hands Out Harsh Sentences for Hedge Fund Trade Secret Theft

Following earlier plea agreements, “Ben” Pu (“Pu”) and Sahil “Sonny” Uppal (“Uppal”) were sentenced today for stealing trade secrets related to high-frequency trading platforms from Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel. In what...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

Federal District Court in San Francisco Sentences More Defendants in Trade Secret Cases

The U.S. District Court in San Francisco was busy this month sentencing defendants in two of the year’s biggest trade secrets cases. First, on July 10, U.S. District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White sentenced Walter...more

ANOTHER WIN FOR ALEYNIKOV: Judge Tosses Evidence in Ex-Programmer’s Latest Case

Sergey Aleynikov fought the law, and the law lost—again. Judge Ronald A. Zweibel of the New York Supreme Court has thrown out a raft of evidence originally gathered by the FBI for federal prosecution and later offered...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

Getting An $800,000 Assist From The Government: Referring Trade Secret Theft For Criminal Prosecution Pays Off

We rely on the federal government for a lot of things, but helping a corporation recover attorney’s fees is not something that immediately comes to mind. ...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

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

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