Category Archives: Trade Secrets

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UPDATE: The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act vs. The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

We first wrote on this topic nearly a year ago[1]. Since then, courts have had an opportunity to interpret some of the provisions of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). Indeed, since it was signed into law, more than 360 DTSA claims have been filed, with more than 343 complaints filed in federal court. … Continue Reading

The Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act vs. The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Although some version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) has widely been adopted by most states, including California, variations among the versions and related judicial interpretation has led to uncertainty—particularly in today’s interstate economy where trade secrets and misappropriation easily may cross multiple states.… Continue Reading

Employers Should Carefully Consider Whether To Sue Former Employees For Threatened Trade Secret Misappropriation Based On Recent California Court of Appeal Decision Awarding Over $1.6 Million To Former Employees

A recent decision by a California Court of Appeal should give employers pause before they use California’s trade secret laws to try to stifle competition in violation of California law. In the case of FLIR Systems, Inc. v. Parrish, the Court of Appeal affirmed a decision by the trial court awarding $1,641,216.78 in attorneys’ fees … Continue Reading

Does Edwards v. Arthur Anderson Bar The Use of Employee Confidentiality Agreements?

In Edwards v. Arthur Andersen, the California Supreme Court reaffirmed California’s strong public policy against covenants not to compete. The primary issue in Edwards was whether the Ninth Circuit’s "narrow restraint" exception was a proper interpretation of California law. Under the narrow restraint exception, employers could enforce noncompetition agreements that did not "entirely preclude" an … Continue Reading

California Court of Appeals Rejects Anti-SLAPP Motion in Trade Secrets/16600 Case

In World Financial Group, Inc. v. HBW Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. the Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District rejected an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike in a breach of contract, theft of trade secrets, and unfair competition case. The defendants moved to strike the complaint under the Anti-SLAPP statute, claiming that their activities … Continue Reading

Questions Unanswered: The Application of California’s New Trade Secret Jury Instructions

In December, 2007, the California Judicial Council published sample jury instructions for trade secret misappropriation claims.  Some of the instructions were revised and others added in April, 2008 (the Table of Contents directs the reader down to Section 4400 of the instructions entitled “Trade Secret”). The instructions raise a number of interesting unanswered questions that … Continue Reading

Trade Secrets Can Be All In Your Mind

In Al Minor & Associates, Inc. v. Martin, 117 Ohio St.3d 58, 2008-Ohio-292, the Ohio Supreme Court recently held that memorizing information, including specifically client lists, constitutes trade secret misappropriation. The court found that neither the Uniform Trade Secret Act nor the Ohio legislature "intended to distinguish between information that has been reduced to some … Continue Reading

The Cost Of Non-Compliance

Today, more than ever, companies are confronted with a broad array of electronic document issues, including data retention policies and e-discovery during litigation. Failing to comply with rules regarding such electronic data can cost millions of dollars. For instance, in United States Securities and Exchange Commission v. Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., No. 06 0882 … Continue Reading
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