Trade Secrets

A Trade Secret is any information, not generally known or easily ascertainable, by which an enterprise develops an economic advantage over competitors or customers. In order to maintain trade secrets'... more +
A Trade Secret is any information, not generally known or easily ascertainable, by which an enterprise develops an economic advantage over competitors or customers. In order to maintain trade secrets' protected legal status, enterprises must make reasonable efforts to keep the information secret and prevent unnecessary disclosure.  Trade Secrets may include processes, formulas, methods, designs, patterns, et cetera.   less -
News & Analysis as of

SHREDDING TRADE SECRETS: Heli-Ski Operators Fret over FOIA Disclosures Releasing a Blizzard of Confidential Information

Heli-skiing: it’s the holy grail for thrill-seeking skiers and snowboarders.   Ride to the roof of the world aboard a helicopter. Descend thousands of vertical feet through fresh, untracked powder.  No lift lines, no ski...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

Supreme Court of Arizona Weighs in on the Preemption Provision of the State’s Trade Secrets Act

Orca Communications Unlimited, LLC v. Noder - The Uniform Trade Secrets Act’s (UTSA) displacement provision creates an exclusive cause of action for claims based on misappropriation of trade secrets and preempts...more

The View from the Beltway: USPTO Symposium Highlights Increasing Economic Importance of Trade Secrets, Likelihood of Federal...

On January 8, 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) hosted its first-ever event on trade secrets.  As we noted when we announced news of the event, the mere fact that the USPTO, an office whose primary...more

New Opposition to the EU Trade Secrets Directive

Not everyone is happy about the proposed EU Trade Secrets Directive.  When we last touched on this topic a couple of months ago, the European Union looked poised to enact a sweeping new legal regime that would harmonize trade...more

Low Octane Levels? Octane Fitness’ Impact in the Trademark and Trade Secret Realms

We have previously addressed the Supreme Court’s decision in Octane Fitness, LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness, Inc., 12-1184, Slip Op. at 7 (2014), which relaxed the standard for awarding attorney’s fees under Section 285 of the...more

Amended Complaints and Industry Standards

Can a party who is accused of an unfair trade practice raise the same defense? That is, can a business avoid section 75-1.1 liability by proving that the plaintiff business engages in the same allegedly unfair conduct?...more

Trade Secrets And 3rd Parties: Litigation Traps To Avoid

Many companies have developed trade secrets policies to protect their valuable information, but even forward-thinking companies may not have internal controls to avoid liability as third parties to alleged trade secret...more

New Year’s Resolutions for Companies Seeking to Protect Their Trade Secrets in 2015

The start of a new year is a perfect opportunity to set lofty goals of self-improvement. While the odds of completing a New Year’s resolution aren’t exactly inspiring (over half are expected to fail within six months) studies...more

Swiping from the Swoosh: Nike sues former shoe designers for trade secret theft

Nike recently sued three of its former shoe designers who defected to Adidas, claiming the trio brought trade secrets with them, including Nike’s strategic development plans, design drawings, and other information “tied” to...more

Do You Have To Be The Owner Of A Trade Secret To Sue For Misappropriation?

Can an exclusive licensee of a trade secret sue for its misappropriation? Maybe, even though North Carolina's version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Protection Act reserves the right to sue to an "owner." N.C. Gen. Stat....more

What’s Mine is Not Yours: Former Officers and Directors and a Corporation’s Attorney–Client Privilege

An officer or director’s company exit often feels like a divorce, with post-departure monetary payments and document-custody issues dominating the immediate aftermath. Companies are quick to enforce non-compete agreements and...more

Trends in N.J. Whistleblowing and Retaliation Law – 2014 Roundup

2014 was another busy year for developments in whistleblowing and retaliation law in New Jersey. This blog post summarizes noteworthy state and federal cases for employers to consider in the new year....more

Backlash Against Jimmy John’s Non-Compete Agreement Highlights Risks of Overzealous Business Protection Measures

The submarine sandwich franchise Jimmy John’s has come under fire recently following the publication of a broad non-compete agreement that it has allegedly required rank-and-file employees to sign. The non-competition...more

Secret Connections: LinkedIn contacts may be a trade secret

A California court recently determined that an employee’s LinkedIn contacts could be considered a “trade secret” in a case where the employee retained his contacts after he left the company and began a competing venture....more

Latest Updates to Media Liability Insurance in California

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP partner James Castle recently enhanced and updated the chapter on Media Liability Insurance for LexisNexis' California Insurance Law & Practice. Cases discussed include: ?S.B.C.C., Inc. v. St....more

Nosal Returns to the Ninth Circuit Posing the Question: Is a Password a Sufficient “Technological Access Barrier” Under the CFAA?

Observers following the legal issues surrounding the prosecution of David Nosal will be watching closely in 2015 as the former Korn Ferry executive returns to the Ninth Circuit to appeal his 2013 conviction on three counts of...more

Secrets in the Spotlight

Companies May Get a New Weapon in the Fight Against Economic Espionage - Efforts to protect property from global threats gained momentum in Washington this summer with the introduction of a pair of bills that would...more

2015 Hot Topics for Multinational Companies

As we enter the New Year, Littler's international practice has identified a number of key employment and labor law issues for multinational companies (MNCs). The past year has brought to the fore some challenging issues...more

USPTO to Host First-Ever Symposium on Trade Secrets

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is hosting its first Trade Secret Symposium on Thursday, January 8, 2015, at the USPTO building in Alexandria, Virginia. The fact that the USPTO, an office whose primary focus is...more

To Sue or Not to Sue: That Is the Trade Secret Question

You have just learned that a senior member of the company research and development team has resigned. The employee had access to important confidential information about your company’s product development, manufacturing...more

NC Business Court Signals Close Scrutiny of Trade Secret Claims

It is black-letter law that a plaintiff must identify its trade secrets “with sufficient particularity so as to enable a defendant to delineate that which he is accused of misappropriating.” Analog Devices, Inc. v....more

Mingling Employee Smartphone and Company Work Product Can be Dangerous

Many people will receive new smartphones as presents this month. Think carefully as an employer before allowing your employees to mingle work and pleasure on the same phone....more

Three Nike Employees Perpetrate Massive Theft of Trade Secrets then Bolt for Adidas

Nike has sued three former employees who left to work for Adidas. The company is suing for everything imaginable: Breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, fraud, conspiracy and more. In a fifty page Complaint, the athletic...more

Don’t Be the Next Data Breach Target

As the much-publicized data breaches of the last year reveal, third parties are often the gateway to an organization’s data. As repositories of vast amounts of confidential client data in e-discovery, such as personally...more

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