Trade Secrets Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

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

Compilation of Public Data Can be Trade Secret

A recent 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision confirmed that data derived from a compilation of publicly available information can constitute a protectable trade secret, particularly when a proprietary process is used to...more

Ninth Circuit Rules on Meaning of “Without Authorization” under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Last month, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the criminal conviction of an individual for accessing a computer “without authorization” in violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). U.S. v. Nosal (9th Cir., July 5,...more

Sparks Fly in Ninth Circuit’s Nosal II Opinion

As many loyal TSW readers know, we’ve been watching the ongoing saga involving ex-Korn Ferry recruiter David Nosal wind its way through the courts since the early days of this blog. And last month, the highly anticipated...more

Ninth Circuit Provides Clarification Concerning the Definition of Trade Secret

On July 5, 2016, in United States v. Nosal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals clarified the definition of “trade secret,” finding that data derived from a compilation of publicly available information can constitute a...more

Ninth Circuit Interprets “Without Authorization” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

When we last left David Nosal, he had escaped liability under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act after convincing some of his former colleagues at executive search firm Korn/Ferry to use their log-in credentials to download...more

Taking a Walk Back to a Kinder, Gentler Interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

We don’t usually talk about four-year-old court decisions in the first instance here. But the Ninth Circuit has issued a pair of noteworthy opinions interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in the last few weeks. And...more

When Stealing in Baseball Can Land You in Jail: Computer Fraud Sentencing Announced in MLB Case

Although stealing bases, and even signs, in baseball may be part of the game, stealing another team’s trade secrets can land you in federal prison, as one executive recently learned the hard way. As we previously...more

Ninth Circuit Vastly Expands Scope of Criminal, Civil Liability for Computer Fraud

In a pair of highly anticipated decisions, the Ninth Circuit significantly reshaped criminal and civil liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The court’s recent decisions in United States v. Nosal...more

Court Upholds Conviction Of Ex-Employee For Conspiring To Access Company Data Through “Shared” Password

Is password sharing a crime? It can be under the right circumstances, according to last week’s decision in United States v. Nosal. In Nosal, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the conviction of a former...more

CFAA Double Feature: Ninth Circuit Issues Two Important Decisions on the Scope of Liability Related to Data Scraping and...

This past week, the Ninth Circuit released two important decisions that clarify the scope of liability under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), 18 U.S.C. § 1030. The Act was originally designed to target...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2016

Employer Is Entitled To Recover $4 Million In Attorney's Fees From EEOC - CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, 578 U.S. ___, 136 S. Ct. 1642 (2016) - The EEOC filed suit against CRST (a trucking company) alleging...more

Ninth Circuit Rules that CFAA Imposes Criminal Penalties When Terminated Users Try To Access Systems With Borrowed Passwords

It can be a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) to “access[] a protected computer without authorization.” The CFAA clearly applies when criminals with no connection to a company try to force their...more

Quirky Question #283: They Stole Our Stuff, Can We Sue?

Question: My company recently terminated an employee, and we are very worried she accessed her email inappropriately in the days before she was fired. The timing of it all is … well, quirky. Here’s what happened: The...more

Happy Times, High Crimes and Misdemeanors (Silicon Valley – Episode 25)

In this week’s episode of Silicon Valley, Richard enjoyed an unprecedented run of success, culminating with the official launch of Pied Piper’s platform. Richard has suffered so many setbacks, it’s little wonder he is...more

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

Federal Court Rejects Employer’s Trade Secret and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claims

An ex-employee’s former employer sued him for alleged violations of the Kansas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (KUTSA) and the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The first claim was based on the company’s hunch that he...more

2015 Trade Secrets Webinar Series Year in Review

Throughout 2015, Seyfarth Shaw’s dedicated Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud & Non-Competes Practice Group hosted a series of CLE webinars that addressed significant issues facing clients today in this important and ever-changing...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

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