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

In Wyoming, a Higher Burden for Chemical Disclosure Exemption?

In Powder River Basin Resource Council v. Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the Wyoming Supreme Court held that the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has the burden of justifying the use of trade secrets...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

The House Introduces Another Trade Secrets Bill: Is It Really Any Better Than Before?

The Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (H.R. 5233) was introduced in the House by Congressman George Holding on July 29, 2014. Representatives Steve Chabot (R-OH), Howard Coble (R-NC), John Conyers (D-MI), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), and...more

Managing IP Risk in the Age of Personalized Medicine

As discussed on Foley’s Health Care Law Today blog, personalized medicine treatment trends and innovations are leading diagnostic and therapeutic companies to form complex arrangements and partnerships with the ultimate goal...more

Technology Design Concepts Can Be Trade Secrets

Conventional wisdom holds that software algorithms and source code can be protected as trade secrets, but broader technology “design concepts” can only be safeguarded by registering for patent protection. But that...more

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act: Differences from the Common Law and from State to State

Recently, Texas adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA” or “the Act”), with some minor modifications, S.B. 953, 83rd Leg., Reg. Sess., § 4 (Tex. 2013), becoming the 47th State (plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico) to...more

Government Contracting and Procurement Update: Public Access to Trade Secrets in Proposals and Bid Documents in Maine

Those doing business with the State of Maine need to know their way around public records laws. What is the risk that sensitive business information included within a bid response to a request for proposal (RFP) may become...more

Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014 Introduced in Bi-Partisan Effort to Protect Businesses From Cyber Security Threats

On July 29, 2014, North Carolina Congressman George Holding introduced the Trade Secrets Protection Act of 2014, H.R. 5233, which seeks to create a private federal remedy for victims of trade secret theft. Representative...more

Really? Requiring Someone To Use Information “Fairly And Lawfully” Can Be Illegal?

Companies have lots of very good reasons for adopting codes of conduct. These reasons include: - Ensuring compliance with applicable exchange listing rules (e.g., NYSE Rule 303A.10 and NASDAQ Rule 5610); -...more

Public Sector Secrecy Rules Could Violate Federal Whistleblower Laws

Whistleblower laws are intended to discourage corruption by granting legal protection and sometimes even financial incentives to employees who report corruption and other violations. However, these laws can sometimes be at...more

Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of Georgia Proposes New Regulation Governing Protection of Trade Secret Information

The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of Georgia ("OCI") has proposed a new rule concerning procedures to be followed by persons or entities asserting trade secret protection of information filed with the OCI to comply...more

Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue, Giving Someone Trade Secrets Injures the Owner, and Using Them Does Too

How do two companies end up liable for nearly $50 million in damages relating to confidential, trade secret materials? Like many romances gone awry, this tale arose from actions taken under cover of secrecy that did not look...more

Employment Law Commentary -- Volume 26, Issue 7 July 2014 -- Building A Workforce Culture Of Data Security In The Post-Snowden Era

Last month’s Employment Law Commentary discussed the high level of international attention now being paid to protecting trade secrets from misappropriation, with recommendations for practical steps that companies may take to...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

Of Documents and Dumpsters: The Sixth Circuit Affirms Convictions for Theft of Hybrid Car Secrets from GM

Last month, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the convictions of co-conspirator couple Yu Qin and Shanshan Du, who were convicted in 2012 of trade secrets theft. A jury in the Eastern District of Michigan had found that Du...more

UPDATE: A New Top 10 Disclosed Trade Secret Settlement

A new trade secrets settlement has shaken up our top 10 disclosed settlements of all time. Business Logic, a Chicago-based developer of financial software, reports that the investment firm Morningstar, Inc. has agreed to pay...more

DONATE, DON’T TELL? The Red Cross says it has trade secrets, upsetting activists

Can a non-profit charity have trade secrets? The Red Cross thinks so. Its claim to trade secret protection over information related to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts made headlines and left some journalists and activists...more

Going Mobile: The Risks and Rewards of a BYOD Program

Employees are increasingly using their personal electronic devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, for work purposes. The trend, dubbed “Bring Your Own Device” or “BYOD,” has redefined what it means to “be at...more

10 Popular Reads Covering Latest European Union Developments

Recap of popular updates covering latest developments in the European Union....more

Defendants’ Stratagems and Plaintiffs’ Counters in Trade Secret Litigation

Every invention starts out as a trade secret. Not all stay that way. Some become patents. Some get licensed. Some remain trade secrets and become spectacular commercial successes. Others get misappropriated. ...more

The World Cup of Non-Competes

Can you imagine if FIFA allowed or enforced non-compete agreements that limited the ability of a player to hold dual citizenship and play for either country? Would the World Cup have suffered if brothers representing Ghana...more

Inferring Trade Secret "Use" Based on the Potential for Harm

Aspen Tech., Inc. v. M3 Tech., Inc. - Addressing the question of what constitutes “use” of a trade secret absent direct evidence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the jury’s finding of...more

Business Litigation Reporter -- June 2014

Goodwin Procter’s Business Litigation Reporter provides timely summaries of key cases and other developments within dedicated Business Litigation sessions and related courts throughout the country – courts within which...more

General Ideas Protectable as Trade Secrets in California

Altavion, Inc. v. Konica Minolta Systems Laboratory Inc. - Clarifying case law that distinguished the protection available under patent law from that available under trade secret law, the California Court of Appeal...more

Confidentiality Agreements - You Need One Before Your Company Shows Its Assets

So, you're putting your company up for sale. You or an advisor that you've retained are inviting potential buyers to have a look. Before you open the books or provide company contracts and records for review, you need to have...more

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