Misappropriation Confidential Information

News & Analysis as of

Theft of confidential information results in only nominal damages for employer

An employer was awarded only nominal damages from former employees who copied the employer’s confidential information but made no use, or limited use, of that information and did not cause any damage to the employer. So...more

Non-Use Agreement Need Not Precede Disclosure of Confidential Information

A Pennsylvania federal court held yesterday that an agreement not to use confidential inside information for trading purposes need not precede the receipt of that information in order to create liability under the...more

Failure to Explain Why Misappropriated Information is a Trade Secret May Lead to Dismissal of a DTSA Complaint With Prejudice

A recent decision in the Western District of Kentucky highlights the importance of explaining in a complaint under the Defend Trade Secrets Act why the allegedly misappropriated information qualifies for trade secret...more

All Trade Secrets Must Be Secret; But Not All Secrets are Trade Secrets

A pair of recent cases illustrate two important interrelated points about trade secret law: First, all trade secrets must be secret. Second, and less obvious, not all secrets are trade secrets....more

Trade Secret Misappropriation in the World of Driverless Cars: Google versus Uber

On Thursday, Waymo LLC sued Uber Technologies and Ottomotto LLC in federal court in the Northern District of California for: (1) violation of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act; (2) violation of California’s Uniform Trade...more

Watch the Napkin: First Circuit Affirms Insider-Trading Conviction

In what appears to be the first appellate decision since the Supreme Court’s December 2016 ruling in Salman v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed an insider-trading conviction based on a...more

Federal Trade Secrets Act

At long last, there is a federal civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) enacted in 2016. The DTSA complements state law remedies, which are not preempted,...more

“It’s a Free Country, Right?” Court Declines to Enjoin Ex-Free Country Ltd. Employees From Contacting Customers on Purloined...

Within days of each other, your clothing company?Free Country Ltd.?loses two employees who decamp to a rival to set up a competing apparel line. You discover that just before leaving, they transferred some 50,000 documents...more

Simple Steps to Help Keep Your Trade Secrets Safe

As illustrated by the recent lawsuit by America’s Test Kitchen against celebrity chef Christopher Kimball, companies in a variety of industries are vulnerable to losing their trade secrets....more

DTSA Immunity: A plaintiff’s dream or a burdensome nightmare?

If you are a regular reader of TSW, you know we have been monitoring developments relating to the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). While the Northern District of California was the first court to enter a written...more

Wake Forest Leaks Scandal May Offer “Playbook” For Businesses Seeking Trade Secret Protection

After a long political season that took many twists and turns due in part to revelations from WikiLeaks, the holiday season finally arrived. For many, that meant family traditions, time away from work, and massive amounts of...more

District of Massachusetts Clarifies Immunity Defense Burden Under Defend Trade Secrets Act

As noted in our previous post, in May 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which establishes a federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets into law. As part of its protections,...more

Federal Court Rejects Defend Trade Secrets Act Whistleblower Immunity Defense on a Motion to Dismiss and Orders Employee to Return...

This past Spring, we reported on the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), which provides a new federal civil cause of action to trade secret owners seeking to pursue claims of trade secret misappropriation. ...more

Commercial Division Rejects Employers’ Plea For Trade Secret and Trademark Protection

When employees resign, the scope of the trade secret doctrine often defines the relationship between former employers and their employees. Trade secret misappropriation claims frequently overlap with other claims arising out...more

International Harmonization of Trade Secret Rights and Remedies

In a recently unprecedented bipartisan effort the United States enacted the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) on May 11, 2016. What many in the US do not know is that less than 30 days later the EU passed European Union...more

Food Fight: America’s Test Kitchen v. Chris Kimball

If, like me, you’re a fan of PBS and its soothing, soft-focus, food-related shows (ahem, Great British Bake-off), you were probably devastated when you heard that longtime host Chris Kimball, was leaving America’s Test...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Fall 2016

Mean Girls v. The Right of Publicity: Lessons Learned From the Lohan and Gravano Lawsuits - On September 1, 2016, a New York appellate court ended two closely watched right of publicity lawsuits brought by Lindsay...more

Undersecretary Nelotsky is Alive and Well!

In the landmark misappropriation case International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918), the Supreme Court identified a quasi-property right created by the investment of effort and money in an intangible...more

What Underlying Facts are Required to Assert a Valid CFAA Claim Based on “Exceeds Authorized Access” in Georgia?

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) gives rise to an actionable claim if someone “knowingly access[es] a computer without authorization or exceed[s] authorized access.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1). The term “exceeds...more

Employment Alert: "Federal Protection of Trade Secrets - the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016"

Earlier this year, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act ("DTSA"), a comprehensive amendment of existing legislation that previously addressed economic espionage and now provides for a private federal civil cause of...more

New Federal Law Protects Trade Secrets

A company’s trade secrets are its lifeblood, but they are valuable only if they remain secret. Faced with a growing rise in theft from foreign hackers, nation states, and rogue employees, trade secret owners now have a new...more

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

A Rose by Any Other Name is Not as Sweet: When a Non-Solicit is Actually a Non-Compete

The Ontario Court of Appeal has held that the words “accept business”, in what the employer intended to be a non-solicitation clause, served to restrict competition and is therefore not merely a non-solicitation...more

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Cybersecurity

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