Tag Archives: Trade Secrets

U.S. Supreme Court Case Preview—Van Buren v. United States: Does Use of a Computer for an “Improper Purpose” Violate the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?

For the first time, the Supreme Court has agreed to review the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The Court’s initial review of the CFAA comes in the wake of a federal circuit split as to whether the statute can only be deployed against hackers and unauthorized users of electronic systems, or also against authorized … Continue Reading

Protecting Social Media Contact Lists as Trade Secrets

Social media contact lists have become an increasingly important part of a business’s customer lists.  While courts are still grappling with who legally “owns” the data that the employee acquired on the employer’s dime—such as LinkedIn customer connections or access to a list of Twitter-feed recipients[1]—employers can still take steps to bolster the company’s claim … Continue Reading

Intellectual Property in the Cannabis Industry – Protecting Innovations And Products, Part I (Trade Secrets)

This post originally appeared as an article in Cannabis Business Executive on December 5, 2019. A cannabis product business is no simple venture. Cannabusinesses have to innovate to remain competitive just like any other company, but in an industry plagued by complex and changing federal and state regulations of marijuana (aka cannabis). At the heart … Continue Reading

3 Steps in Furtherance of Avoiding Devastating Spoliation Sanctions in Trade Secret Misappropriation Litigation

Preservation of electronically stored evidence (ESI) may be critical in trade secret cases. When a dispute revolves around whether a defendant accessed and/or transmitted the plaintiff’s trade secret material maintained in an electronic file, the file’s metadata can have evidentiary importance. Similarly, the defendant may have an interest in the plaintiff’s own disclosures of the … 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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