Trade Secrets Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

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

Get Off My Cloud: “BYOC” Workplaces Pose Trade Secrets Risks

There’s been a lot of talk in recent years about “BYOD” (“Bring Your Own Device”) policies, which are becoming increasingly common in the workplace. Employees want the flexibility and ease that comes with being able to use a...more

Criminal Sanctions in a Trade Secret Dispute

Just a few days after the Major League Baseball season opens next month, former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa will attend a sentencing hearing where he faces to up to five years in prison, a $250,000...more

Top 10 Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition Developments

There were several noteworthy developments in 2015 in the area of trade secrets and unfair competition. This post focuses on developments affecting California employers. Due to the unsettled nature of some of the law, this...more

The “Cannibal Cop” and Protection of Computerized Data

In an unusual criminal case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently weighed in on an important question at the intersection of employment law and data security. The decision will likely have implications wherever...more

“Don’t Go There”: Second Circuit Makes it Harder to Bring Claims against Former Employees who Take Company Information without...

On December 3, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the most recent entrant into the circuit conflict on the question of when and under what circumstances an employee’s use of a computer to gain access to unauthorized...more

"Don’t Go There": Second Circuit Makes it Harder to Bring Claims against Former Employees who Take Company Information without...

On December 3, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals became the most recent entrant into the circuit conflict on the question of when and under what circumstances an employee’s use of a computer to gain access to unauthorized...more

Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments in United States v. Nosal, Part II

On October 20, 2015, a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit heard oral arguments in Round II of United States v. David Nosal. Both sides generally stuck with arguments from their briefs, with Nosal’s counsel arguing that...more

Employees and “Authorized Access”: A Threat from Within?

Workplace privacy has become an increasingly challenging issue for employees and employers alike. With technological advancements, employers have enhanced visibility into employee behavior including their use of company...more

Nosal Update: Ninth Circuit Hears Oral Arguments on Password Sharing and Scope of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

On October 20, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel consisting of Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and Judges M. Margaret McKeown and Stephen Reinhardt heard oral argument from the U.S. Department of Justice and counsel for David Nosal on...more

Think Before You Tack CFAA Claims on to Your Trade Secret Misappropriation Case

Before you include a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) claim in a trade secret case, consider carefully: was the data acquired through “unauthorized access” or was it just misused by the defendants? If it was properly...more

Reducing Your Company’s Exposure to Trade Secret Litigation when Key Employees Come and Go

THE NIGHTMARE SCENARIO - Within the span of two weeks, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wilson, two top managers from your $2 billion corporation, resign. Both managers had complete, unfettered access to your corporation’s trade...more

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Trade Secret Disputes and Employment Risks

In today’s post, we have answered some of the most frequent and significant questions that we are asked about trade secret disputes and employment risks. 1. Could you provide a brief snapshot of current trends in...more

eWorkplace Policies Restricting Employees’ Acceptable Use of Technology, Social Media & The Cloud

I. OVERVIEW – THE MODERN LANDSCAPE - A. Physical Conduct PLUS Digital Activity - Traditional concerns for employers have included: conduct leading to liability to third-parties; “frolic and detour” or other...more

A Preview of the CFAA Arguments in United States v. Nosal, Part II: Could “Phishing” be a Factor?

Oral arguments for the next round in United States v. Nosal have been set for October 20, 2015 at the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. So we figured it may be a good time to review both sides’ arguments related to the...more

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015: Proposed Legislation Would Open the Federal Courthouse Door for Trade Secret...

In an era where bipartisanship is rarely on display, a group of Senators and members of the House of Representatives from both parties recently joined together to propose the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 (S. 1890, H.R....more

Hacking Your Rivals – Corporate Espionage in Major League Baseball

As we approach the dog days of summer, baseball season is again in full bloom. We previously discussed old-fashioned sign stealing in the context of teams trying to gain a competitive advantage during an actual game. But it...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

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

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

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

TRO LLC – GET IT? Sprung From Prison, Hacker Creates Hedge Fund That Shorts Stocks Of Companies With Security Vulnerabilities

Self-proclaimed Internet troll and hacker Andrew “weev” Auernheimer has big plans now that he’s been sprung from prison. We identified Auernheimer’s imprisonment and appeal as one of the top trade secret stories of...more

David Nosal, Employee Data Theft, and Why Employment Lawyers Should Understand Their Clients' IT Infrastructure

Earlier this month, a federal judge in San Francisco sentenced David Nosal to a year in prison, three years’ supervised release, 400 hours of community service, and $60,000 in fines. His crime? Nosal violated the Computer...more

BREAKING: David Nosal Sentenced To Prison On CFAA Computer Intrusion And Trade Secret Charges

Former Korn/Ferry recruiter David Nosal was sentenced to one year and one day in prison on Wednesday for violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Economic Espionage Act. In April, a federal jury in...more

Don’t Do the Crime If You Can’t Do The Time: Top 10 Criminal Trade Secret Sentences

Trade secret theft can expose defendants not only to multi-million dollar civil verdicts but also to multi-year prison sentences. Trade Secrets Watch reviewed federal criminal trade secrets sentences since the Economic...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

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