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

An Interesting Trade Secrets Case From The Business Court

If you were unsure whether customer information held by your client -- like customer contact information, sales reports, prices and terms books, sales memos, sales training manuals, commission reports, and vendor information...more

First Foreign Hacker Is Convicted In The United States Of Hacking Crimes Involving Theft Of Trade Secrets From American Companies

A 22-year-old Canadian hacker has been sentenced to federal prison by a Delaware court for engaging in a conspiracy to break into the computer networks of several large gaming companies, to steal trade secret and other...more

Mixology 101: Blending Trade Secret Protections and Fracking Chemical Reporting

Whether you live in the East, the Great Plains, the Southwest, or the Rocky Mountain West, the oil and gas industry’s use of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” in oil and gas development is something you have likely heard a...more

Intellectual Property: Crowdfunding and Confidentiality for Tech Start-Ups

I recently attended Launch Festival 2015 in San Francisco and Angel Launch’s LaunchFEST Mixer: Doing Deals with Silicon Valley—Attracting Funding, Angels, and Tech Trends in downtown Los Angeles. The events were very...more

Satisfying the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act’s Jurisdictional Requirements Can Be Complicated

The parties in a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act case moved for partial summary judgment. Among the issues were whether the plaintiff had incurred the requisite $5,000 in qualifying losses, and whether the complaint was...more

All Bets Are Off: Kentucky Downs Trade Secrets Case Presents Novel Question Under Kentucky’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Earlier this month, AmTote International, Inc. sued the famed Kentucky Downs racetrack, three high-ranking Kentucky Downs employees, and Encore Gaming, LLC in federal court alleging misappropriation of trade secrets related...more

Hiring From a Competitor? Play Defense to Limit Trade Secret Risk

When discussing trade secrets and strategies to protect valuable proprietary information, most companies focus on their outbound risk. In other words, companies pay close attention to protecting their own valuable trade...more

Don't Let the Door Hit You … Oh, and I Have a Few Questions Before You Go

Regardless of how great you are as an employer, not all of your employees will stick around forever, especially your most valuable employees. If the employee is valuable to you, you can be sure he or she would be just as...more

Can You Keep a Secret? The SEC Says to Ask Carefully

Employers have a lot to be worried about. Employees are given access to trade secrets, customer lists, financial accounts, and other highly sensitive, confidential information. Most employers attempt to deter improper use of...more

How Much Damages Can You Realistically Expect for Trade Secrets Misappropriation in China

The best way to protect trade secrets is to prevent them from being misappropriated in the first place, but when trade secret misappropriation occurs, a trade secret holder will likely want to obtain adequate damages through...more

Protecting Trade Secrets Insufficient to Enforce Covenant Not to Compete in Any Capacity Worldwide - NanoMech, Inc. v. Suresh

Addressing the enforceability of a non-compete agreement to protect trade secrets, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a ruling finding that a non-compete agreement which prevented the employee from...more

Estate Planning for Your Digital Assets

If you use a computer, you likely have digital assets that should be addressed as part of your estate planning. Access to digital assets is governed by an evolving and complicated technical and legal framework, including...more

Five Big IP Considerations for Growing Businesses

Entrepreneurs starting their businesses often follow a well-beaten path to get their companies off the ground, balancing the need to keep legal costs low against the necessity of some initial investment. ...more

March 2015 Recap

March 2015—like January and February—saw decisions on a variety of fronts from ND Cal judges. ND Cal judges demonstrated their willingness to apply the Supreme Court’s decisions in Nautilus and Alice to invalidate patents on...more

15 Things To Do To Protect Value After April 15

April 15, a date that lives in infamy. That is what FDR said about December 7, 1941, but many people feel the same way about April 15, also known as “Tax Day”. No one likes paying money to the IRS, even those persons who...more

Navigating Non-Competes When a Worldwide Presence Is the New Norm

Businesses that compete globally are once again reminded of the need to avoid overreaching when requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements. Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a...more

DEFENSES AGAINST FOIA: Non-Profit Planned Parenthood Succeeds In Keeping Operations Manual Secret

When inquiring minds want to know, non-profit organizations now have a stronger response.  Last year, we posed the question: Can a non-profit maintain trade secrets and other confidential commercial information? The First...more

Intellectual Property Bulletin - Winter 2015

Copyrighting Player-Generated Content in Video Games - Last year, consumers spent more than $21 billion on the video game industry. The Entertainment Software Association reports that almost 60% of Americans—roughly...more

Inside Job – Judge Labson Freeman Applies the CFAA Restrictively

Koninklijke Phillips N.V., et. al. v. Elec-Tech Int’l Co., Ltd., et al.,, Case No. 14-cv-02737 (BLF) (March 20, 2015) - Plaintiff Koninklijke Phillips N.V. (Phillips) and its subsidiary Phillips Lumileds Lighting...more

Executive Order Creates Cybersecurity Sanctions Framework

On April 1, 2015, President Obama issued an Executive Order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against designated individuals or entities found to be engaged in malicious cyber activity, including various forms of...more

March Madness: Trade Secrets Claims Block Billion Dollar Bracket

For those of us who revel in this time of year as amateur “bracketologists,” last year’s promise of the billion dollar bracket brought an added lottery-like level of fun to the NCAA basketball tournament. Even though the...more

Social Media in the Context of Post-Employment Litigation

At the frontier of post-employment litigation is the issue of how to address social media contacts and communications. To date, while courts in other jurisdictions, such as California and Colorado, have passed on such...more

POTUS Declares Cybercrime a National Emergency, Announces New Penalties for Trade Secrets Theft

Declaring cybercrime a “national emergency,” President Obama today empowered Treasury to freeze assets that are the fruits of cybercrime, according to an Executive Order issued this afternoon. The agency can block money or...more

New EU Directive for Protection of Trade Secrets Will Help U.S. Companies Doing Business Internationally

In the coming weeks, the European Parliament will debate and is expected to pass a trade secret directive for European Union (EU) Member States that aims to harmonize and strengthen trade secret law throughout the EU, a...more

Can your social media contacts be a trade secret of your employer? Maybe.

This is a relatively new legal subject, so there isn’t much law out there.  In December, 2011, a Pennsylvania federal court answered this question in the negative.  In the case of Eagle v. Morgan, Linda Eagle, the founder of...more

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