News & Analysis as of

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

Tattletales Beware: Whistleblowing May Result In Trade Secret Misappropriation Liability

In the Brady Bunch episode “Stop Tattling,” Mike Brady (the father) gives Cindy (youngest of the clan) a stern warning after her tattling lands Alice (the Brady caretaker) in hot water with Sam (the Brady’s butcher and...more

Back From The Dead? Senator Wants To Resuscitate Legislation To Create A Federal Right Of Action For Trade Secret Theft

There are stirrings in the U.S. Senate of yet another bid to establish a federal right of civil action for trade secret misappropriation. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) has quietly circulated a draft bill to IP lawyers and...more

Payback Time: Using The Faithless Servant Doctrine To Combat Trade Secret Theft

Employers know all too well that their own employees are often the most likely people to misappropriate their confidential and proprietary information and their valuable trade secrets. Employers have plenty of weapons at...more

Proceed with Caution: Navigating the Intersection Between Trade Secret and Patent Law - Foster v. Pitney Bowes Corp.

In a case illustrating the impact of permitting a patent application to be published, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s order granting defendant’s motion for judgment on the...more

ITC Affirms Trade Secret Violation Against Chinese Company For Stealing U.S. Rubber Resin Trade Secrets, Imposes 10-Year Import...

The U.S. International Trade Commission has upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s determination that a Chinese company misappropriated its U.S. competitor’s rubber resin trade secrets, and has banned it from importing its...more

Ownership of Business-Related Social Media Accounts

Social media platforms have become an increasingly important means for companies to build and manage their brands and to interact with their customers, in many cases eclipsing companies’ traditional “.com” websites. Social...more

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Senator Proposes New Bill To Create Civil Cause Of Action For Foreign Theft Of Trade Secrets

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday last week, Senator Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) introduced the Future of American Innovation and Research Act, a new trade secrets bill that would allow American trade secrets owners to sue...more

Safeguarding Trade Secrets and Proprietary Information

Most states, including Maine, have statutes protecting trade secrets. These statutes provide an important measure of protection to employers wishing to safeguard their proprietary information. For employers, the issue of...more

European Union To Adopt Union-Wide Trade Secrets Law

In a move heralded by businesses and intellectual property attorneys alike, the European Commission recently indicated that, on Nov. 27, 2013, it will adopt a proposed directive to harmonize national laws making a comparable...more

Gyms, Romance, And Reality TV: Rethinking What Qualifies As Trade Secret Theft

When you think of gyms, romance, and reality TV, what’s most likely to come to mind is an episode of Jersey Shore — not a lawsuit for trade secret misappropriation. But you won’t hear about JWoww, Snooki, or The Situation in...more

The “I Was Just Trying To Land A New Job” Defense To Criminal Trade Secret Theft Charges

On February 28, 2008, Hanjuan Jin, a Chinese-born former software engineer for Motorola, arrived at Chicago O’Hare Airport en route to Beijing. During a random customs check, officials discovered that she had a one-way...more

Goldman Ordered to Advance Defense Fees for Former Employee Accused of Stealing Computer Codes

On October 16, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, in Aleynikov v. The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., found that a former vice president and computer programmer was an “officer” of Goldman Sachs & Co.,...more

California Appellate Court Reaffirms the Trade Secret Displacement (Preemption) Doctrine

Courts continue to define the scope of the emerging trade secret displacement doctrine, (commonly referred to as preemption) which stems from California's Uniform Trade Secrets Act ("UTSA"). The UTSA contains a relatively...more

California Court of Appeal Clarifies the Limits of Statutory Trade Secret Displacement (Supersession)

In a case whose facts plainly compelled the outcome, California’s Fourth Appellate District held on October 15, 2013 in Angelica Textile Services, Inc. v. Jaye Park, No. D062405 that a claim for trade secret misappropriation...more

Class 6: How to Avoid Losing Patent Rights

In This Presentation: •Today’s Main Topic: – How to Avoid Losing Patent Rights •May Cover: – What is Intellectual Property (Class 1 Redux)? – Making Use of Trade Secrets (Catch-up from...more

Recommendations for Avoiding Trade Secret Misappropriation

Although the following recommendations will not eliminate all risks, each one will have a cumulative effect toward establishing a structure that is most likely to prevent the disclosure or use of trade secrets by new...more

Trade Secrets Claim Dismissed For Failure To Plead “Reasonable Measures” Element

Recently, many of the battles in trade secret litigation in North Carolina have been fought over whether the trade secrets have been alleged with enough specificity to survive a motion to dismiss. (”Trade Secret...more

This Day In Trade Secrets: In October 1859, New York Marble Maker Sues Over Disclosure Of Marbleizing Methods

One hundred and fifty-four years ago this month, New York marble marker Egbert Deming sued Ezra Chapman, seeking to prevent him from disclosing a secret method for making artificial marble. Chapman had agreed in writing not...more

Perquisition Privée: France Ahead Of U.S. In Allowing Trade Secret Owners To Seize Property From Suspected Thieves

Can trade secret owners secretly petition a court to seize property from a competitor that they suspect of stealing trade secrets? In the United States, the answer is: “Not yet.” This is one of the issues that Congress is...more

Prospect Generator Is Vindicated

The prospect generator’s worst nightmare is presented in Southwestern Energy Production Co. v. Berry-Helfand and Muncey. I will over-simplify the facts: Hefland and Muncey toil for years generating James Lime prospects in a...more

Trade-Secrets and the Departing Employee

Concerned about departing employees who might have confidential information about your business and clients? Or maybe you are the ex-employee and you are unsure of where the line is drawn when departing one job to start...more

Give And Take: Lofgren’s Twin Trade Secret Bills Would Curtail Actions Under One Law, Expand Them Under Another

When Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the Silicon Valley Democrat, introduced a pair of bills last month on trade secret misappropriation, we puzzled over her purpose. ...more

Recent Developments In Information Technology Law – Second Quarter 2013

In This Issue: - I. U.S. Supreme Court - A. Trademarks 3 - II. U.S. Courts of Appeal - A. Patents - B. Copyrights - C. Copyrights/Criminal - D. Trademarks - E. Trademarks/Unfair Trade...more

Fiduciary Duties In Oil Patch Deals

I. GENERAL. A. Introduction. In selecting a form of business entity for an oil patch deal in Texas the organizer or initial owners can consider the following five business entity forms: • Corporation •...more

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