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

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” Is Like Sesame Street for Start-Ups

A recent episode of “Silicon Valley” was brought to you by the letters N-D-A. The protagonists are seeking funding for their start-up, Pied Piper, and one of the potential investment groups starts asking curiously technical...more

Will Your Cyber Insurance Respond When You Need It Most?

On May 7, Columbia Casualty Company, an insurance company, filed one of the first lawsuits by an insurer seeking to deny coverage for a privacy class action under a cyber insurance policy. Why is this significant? As the...more

Is It Time to Switch Gears? Enforceability of Automotive Company Employee Confidentiality Restrictions

Given the large workforces and importance of intellectual property and trade secrets in the automotive industry, automotive companies rely heavily on confidentiality provisions in employment agreements and employee handbooks....more

Will We See Federal Trade Secret Legislation Passed This Year?

In January of this year, we noted that trade secret protection has lately been on the minds of lawmakers in Washington, and that federal trade secret legislation was very close to being enacted. While nothing is pending at...more

ITC Affirms Joint and Several Liability of Counsel for Payment of Monetary Sanctions Based on Client's Spoliation of Evidence

On April 30, 2015, the International Trade Commission issued the public version of its opinion reviewing ALJ Thomas B. Pender’s Initial Determination in Investigation No. 337-TA-883, finding the Respondents in default due to...more

North Carolina Business Court Holds Pleading Stage Too Early to Dismiss Broad Non-compete

On May 7, 2015, Judge Gregory McGuire of the North Carolina Business Court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss a claim that a physician’s assistant breached non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in her employment...more

Legal Issues In Collaborations

Innovation depends on collaboration and leveraging the expertise of diverse individuals is instrumental to creating new technologies. While there are many benefits to collaborations, significant legal issues can arise such as...more

Kolon Finally Served With Criminal Summons in Korea, Subsequently Settles for $360 Million

On April 30, 2015, Kolon Industries finally resolved two long-standing disputes regarding its alleged misappropriation of trade secrets related to DuPont Co.’s bullet-proof Kevlar Material.  The settlement resolved a six-year...more

VC’s running scared – Hooli is suing Pied Piper (Episodes 9 and 10)

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” has quickly become a must watch for all budding entrepreneurs, but the second season has opened up with a multitude of risks and roadblocks that could be faced by real world entrepreneurs. Here, we...more

State May Not Disclose Trade Secrets Submitted as Part of RFP Response

If you have ever agonized about whether to include certain confidential business information in a bid for a state contract in New Hampshire because of concerns that your competitors might get their hands on it, you should...more

Two Claims You May Not Want To Make In North Carolina

I said yesterday that there was too much in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2015 NCBC 47 for just one post, so here are the rest of the key points from the case. They involve two claims you might not want to bother to make in...more

IP Newsflash - May 2015 #3

FEDERAL CIRCUIT CASES - Federal Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment of Noninfringement Under § 271(e)(1) for Consideration of Certain Post-FDA-Submission Activities, But Expresses Skepticism About Infringement...more

Trade Secret Plaintiff Avoids Dismissal, Gets Discovery

One of the most interesting Business Court decisions of last year was Judge Bledsoe's opinion in DSM Dyneema, LLC v. Thagard, 2014 NCBC 50, in which he held that the Plaintiff, which was suing for misappropriation of trade...more

Reviewing the First Foreign Economic Espionage Cases

The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA) provides for the criminal prosecution of the theft or misappropriation of trade secrets. The statute was enacted to protect and promote national and economic security by filling in...more

Stop. Wait a Minute. I Have a Few Questions Before You Drive Away

With the continued success of the auto industry, comes the increase in employee mobility. Regardless of how great you are as an employer, not all of your employees will stick around forever, especially your most valuable...more

Zillow Case Shows Danger of Unprotected Trade Secrets During Business Negotiations

As I mentioned in a prior post on real estate investment vehicles’ use of intellectual property, the real estate industry is not immune from legal disputes arising from that “other” type of property: intellectual property –...more

Things to Think About Before You Leave to Work for a Competitor

An employee who leaves a company to work for a competitor can run into a hornet’s nest of legal problems.  The latest example of this classic fact pattern involves William Georgelis, a sales manager for building material...more

Employer Can Proceed With Breach Of Noncompete And Trade Secrets Claims Against Former Employee Who Refused To Relinquish Control...

Recently, an Illinois federal district court denied in part an employee’s motion to dismiss various claims asserted by his former employer, allowing the employer to proceed with its claims for breach of a non-compete...more

ITC Section 337 Update - May 2015

ALJ Lord Recommends 12 Month Delayed Relief Based On Public Interest If Commission Finds Violation Of Section 337 In 910 – On April 10, 2015, ALJ Lord issued the public version of the Initial Determination on Violation and...more

Another Frivolous Trade Secret Case: Court Finds Bad Faith in Cypress v. Maxim

Cypress Semiconductor Corporation and Maxim Integrated Products are two big Silicon Valley tech companies, both with an interest in touchscreen technologies. In February 2011, Maxim engaged a recruiter named Zion Mushel to...more

Protecting IP Through Employment Law [Video]

Oftentimes, a patent case will not be decided by patent law, but by employment law. If an invention was developed by an employee or a third-party contractor without the proper agreements in place, the company may find itself...more

The Cost of Buying Silence – Non-disclosure Provisions Run Afoul of Federal Agencies

There’s an inherent tension in requiring an employee to sign an agreement restricting his or her ability to discuss activity in the workplace. On one hand, employers with confidential business practices and trade secrets need...more

Meritas Capability Webinar - California’s Prohibition Against Non-Compete Agreements (B&P Code § 16600), the Protection of Trade...

Many attorneys representing company’s in or from other states (freedom of contract jurisdictions) believe a well drafted covenant not to compete can be an employer’s best defense against competition from former employees....more

Meritas Capability Webinar - California’s Prohibition Against Non-Compete Agreements (B&P Code § 16600), the Protection of Trade... [Video]

Many attorneys representing company’s in or from other states (freedom of contract jurisdictions) believe a well drafted covenant not to compete can be an employer’s best defense against competition from former employees....more

Discovery Orders May Threaten Traditional Notions of Trade Secret Protection

Historically, confidential and proprietary information, such as the formulas for Coca-Cola and Pepsi, is trade secret information that will not be made available to the public during litigation. While Coke and Pepsi are...more

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