Confidential Information

News & Analysis as of

Post-Newman Reality: Investigations Involving Unwitting “Tips” to Close Friends and Relatives Will Continue

Earlier this week, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the federal government’s appeal of the ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in U.S. v. Newman. This leaves intact the Second Circuit’s quid...more

Nature of Company's Defenses Can Expand Scope of Discovery

There is no question that, in a books-and-records action, the scope of discovery is limited and such discovery is not an appropriate means of obtaining the same books and records sought in the action. In Chammas v. NavLink...more

To Void Or To Modify? Courts Have The Final Say On Voiding Or Rewriting A Non-Compete Agreement

“This has been a trend for a long time; the days of lifetime employment are long since over.” — Marc Andreeson Anticipating that employees do not always stay with an employer for the duration of their careers,...more

District Court Rules That Smartphone Passcodes Are Testimonial; Protected by Fifth Amendment

In Securities and Exchange Commission v. Huang, the district court held that the Fifth Amendment protected two former employees against having to disclose their personal passcodes for company-issued smartphones to government...more

Bombshell OIG Report a Reminder to Vigilantly Protect Confidential Information

The U.S. Secret Service’s most recent scandal spectacularly illustrates the need to enforce restrictions on access to databases housing confidential information. According to a September 25, 2015, report from the Office of...more

Special Circumstances Justify USPTO Release of Confidential Information About Pending Patent Applications - Hyatt v. Lee

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can release confidential information about pending patent applications under special circumstances the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decided. Hyatt v. Lee, Case No....more

Reducing Your Company’s Exposure to Trade Secret Litigation when Key Employees Come and Go

THE NIGHTMARE SCENARIO - Within the span of two weeks, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wilson, two top managers from your $2 billion corporation, resign. Both managers had complete, unfettered access to your corporation’s trade...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Second Circuit Insider-Trading Case

On October 5, 2015, the Supreme Court refused to grant review of the Second Circuit’s restrictive insider-trading decision in United States v. Newman. The Government, through the Solicitor General, had asked the Supreme...more

Essential Protection: Restrictive Covenants of Your Employees

No one knows your company better than your employees. And while great employees can be your most valuable asset, disloyal employees can use their insider information to harm or compete against you. You need protection, and an...more

Is it legal to ask for a social security number on an application?

Q. Our current job application asks for the applicant’s SSN. Is that legal? I feel it might not be a good idea with all the high-profile news of identity theft. Originally published in the Utah Legal Law Letter....more

SEC brings first cybersecurity-related enforcement action

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently settled its first cybersecurity-related enforcement action against a Missouri based registered investment adviser, R.T. Jones Capital Equities Management, Inc. (the ...more

And The Beat Goes On… The NLRB's Attack on Confidentiality Continues

Many employers believe they have the absolute right to prohibit their workers from disclosing “confidential” information to coworkers and third parties. They are dead wrong. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has...more

Clouding Up Trade Secret Protections

“The cloud” can refer to a lot of things, and is frequently a misunderstood concept. While cloud computing can encompass a number of Internet-based functions, in its simplest form, “the cloud” merely refers to the use of...more

Project CAMERASHY Details Cyberespionage By China’s Military

In a story reminiscent of a Tom Clancy plot, the Wall Street Journal reported last Thursday on “meticulously documented” cyberespionage conducted by China’s People’s Liberation Army (“PLA”) Unit 78020 to further strategic...more

Keep Your Confidential Information Confidential

Most government contractors, or any company with confidential information or trade secrets, have confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements with their employees, subcontractors, or other entities they do business with....more

Employees: Your Role in Keeping Trade Secrets ‘Secret’

As an employee, do you know what you should be doing to protect your company’s critical business information and trade secrets? It’s likely that in your employment contract you agreed not to disclose confidential corporate...more

US-China Cyber Deal Big on Promises, Short on Action

In the aftermath of recent cyberattacks attributed to China’s government and citizens, many observers prepared for a rather uncomfortable state visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping last week. Then, as President Xi began his...more

Financial Projections, Strategic Plans, And Customer Contract Proposals Can Be Trade Secrets

Two competitors who do research and analysis for advertisers and media companies, concerning how television viewing impacts consumer purchasing, have been in a legal battle over alleged trade secret misappropriation, patent...more

Who is Stealing Your Trade Secrets? An Overview of Key Threats

Every company has trade secrets – for some, they may be special manufacturing processes, for other organizations, trade secrets could include product formulae, customer lists, software code or marketing strategies. The more...more

FOS publishes new Ombudsman News

The latest edition of Ombudsman News includes items on complaints: - involving alleged misuse of sensitive details and passing on confidential information; - from small businesses, most of which related to banking...more

OFCCP Launches Class Member Locator Website, Disclosing Conciliation Agreements

Today, the Office of Federal Contract and Compliance Programs (OFCCP), launched its “Class Member Locator,” a website designed to help the agency “identify protected class members” that may have been affected by illegal...more

Investment Adviser Settles SEC Charges After Data Breach

Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled charges against a registered investment adviser for failing to comply with Rule 30(a) of Regulation S-P (17 C.F.R. § 248.30(a)) (“Safeguards Rule”). The...more

A Beginner’s Guide to Trade Secrets

So what exactly are trade secrets? How do they differ from patents? Is any piece of confidential corporate information considered a trade secret? For those outside the world of intellectual property, these are common...more

FERC NOPR Seeks Access to Additional Electric Reliability Data

At its September 17, 2015 Open Meeting, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“Commission” or FERC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NOPR”) that would require the North American Electric Reliability Corporation...more

Leveraging employment restraints to protect business assets

When a key employee subject to an employment restraint leaves a business to join a competitor, fast decisions need to be made to protect client goodwill or guard against misuse of confidential information....more

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