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Tag Archives: Trade Secrets

New Federal Trade Secret Law Takes Effect!

Posted in IP Law Blog Lawyers In The News, Legal Info, Trade Secrets

So what is a trade secret?  Generally, a trade secret is information that the owner has taken reasonable measures to keep secret, derives independent economic value from not being generally known, and cannot be readily ascertainable by proper means, such as reverse engineering or independent development.  Many businesses rely on trade secret protection rather than… Continue Reading

Hidden Pitfalls of Old Non-Compete Provisions

Posted in Trade Secrets

Companies and employers around the country seek to protect their intellectual property by, among other things, using non-compete provisions in employment agreements. Generally, these provisions are intended to prevent an employee from soliciting or doing business with a former employer’s customer/clients over a set period of time and/or in regard to a set geographical area…. Continue Reading

Hey, that’s my beer! I think…

Posted in Trade Secrets

In the bustling craft brew economy brewers are faced with new issues every day. One that recently came to my attention arises when the craft brewery’s brewmaster or head brewer decides to either start his own craft brewery, or go to work for another brewery. While this may not initially seem like a big deal,… Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Limits Application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Posted in Trade Secrets

Victims of trade secret theft often can seek a variety of civil and criminal remedies against those who have absconded with proprietary information.  The Ninth Circuit however recently rejected criminal charges in a situation where the claims could be addressed as a civil matter under California’s trade secret laws. In United States v. Nosal, David Nosal… Continue Reading

Copyright Preemption and Its Interplay with Trade Secret Misappropriation

Posted in Copyright Law, Trade Secrets

By: James Kachmar A recent decision in the case Jobscience, Inc. v. CVPartners, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Jan. 9, 2014) shows the interplay between the various theories of intellectual property claims. There, the plaintiff asserted claims for both copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation arising out of the alleged theft of its software code. The court… Continue Reading

“Animosity” Is Not Bad Faith For Attorneys’ Fees In Trade Secret Cases

Posted in Trade Secrets

By James Kachmar Under the California trade secret statute, the court may award attorneys’ fees where there has been a willful and malicious misappropriation of plaintiff’s trade secrets or when a trade secret misappropriation claim is brought in bad faith.  (See Civil Code §3426.4.)  In Weco Supply Company, Inc. v. Sherwin-Williams Company, 2013 U.S. Dist…. Continue Reading

Is Your Twitter Account a Trade Secret?

Posted in Trade Secrets

As social media networks become part of the lives and daily routines of more and more people, the use of social media networks in the workplace has begun to highlight a number of issues where an employee’s use of a social media network may interfere with the rights of their employer. A recent case pending before… Continue Reading

At Some Point, Litigation Must Come To an End

Posted in Copyright Law, Trade Secrets, Web/Tech

By Dale Campbell The Ninth Circuit has attempted to end the disputes arising from the creation of Facebook. As dramatized in the Hollywood blockbuster, The Social Network, the Winklevoss twins and other Harvard graduates claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole the idea for Facebook from them. The Winklevosses claimed they conceived and created the idea for a social… Continue Reading

Trade Secrets, Bankruptcy and “Standing”

Posted in Trade Secrets

By James Kachmar In today’s economic environment, bankruptcy is often the only viable option for struggling businesses. In Jasmine Networks, Inc. v. Superior Court (Santa Clara County), the Court faced the issue of whether a bankrupt company could maintain an action for trade secret misappropriation when that company had sold its “trade secrets” in connection with… Continue Reading

The Seventh And Ninth Circuits Split On What Constitutes “Without Authorization” Within The Meaning Of The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act

Posted in Trade Secrets, Web/Tech

By Dale C. Campbell and David Muradyan The Seventh Circuit and the Ninth Circuit do not agree on what constitutes “authorization” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030 (2004) (“CFAA”)?  The CFAA prohibits accessing computers “without authorization” or “exceed[ing] authorized access” to take various forbidden actions, ranging from obtaining information to… Continue Reading

More Guidance On Pre-Discovery Trade Secret Disclosures

Posted in Trade Secrets

by Dale Campbell A central issue in all trade secret litigation is the adequacy of plaintiff’s pre-discovery disclosure of the alleged trade secrets. The Fourth District Court of Appeal has contributed to the growing body of case law interpreting the adequacy of the initial trade secret disclosure required by California Code of Civil Procedure section 2019.210. (Perlan Therapeutics… Continue Reading

Identifying Trade Secrets with “Reasonable Particularity”

Posted in Trade Secrets

by James Kachmar Section 2019.210 of the Code of Civil Procedure requires that a plaintiff identify its alleged trade secrets with “reasonable particularity” before that party can commence discovery on its claims based upon trade secret misappropriation. In Perlan Therapeutics, Inc. v. Superior Court (NexBio, Inc.), a California appellate court revisited the requirements of section 2019.210… Continue Reading

Bad Faith Trade Secret Claims and Attorney Fee Awards

Posted in Trade Secrets

by James Kachmar On June 15, 2009, the Court of Appeal for the Second District issued its ruling in FLIR Systems, Inc. v. Parrish and affirmed an award of attorneys fees and costs in the amount of $1.6 million to a defendant in a trade secrets misappropriation case. The FLIR Systems ruling demonstrates that a trial… Continue Reading

Obvious, Within General Knowledge, and … Trade Secret? An Update To The Disclosure Requirement of CCP 2019.210.

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Scott Cameron California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2019.210 requires a plaintiff in a trade secret case to identify “with reasonable particularity” the trade secret it claims was misappropriated before commencing discovery. This usually leads to the first dispute in such a lawsuit – whether the plaintiff has adequately identified the trade secret. In a recent… Continue Reading

Trade Secrets and Preemption

Posted in Trade Secrets

By James Kachmar Although several federal courts in California have previously considered the issue of preemption in trade secret misappropriation cases, the Sixth Appellate District, in K.C. Multimedia, Inc. v. Bank of America Technology & Operations, Inc. ___ Cal.Rptr. 3d ____ (6th Dist. Mar. 3, 2009), became one of the first (if not the first)… Continue Reading

Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP The Death of Non-Competition Agreements?

Posted in Trade Secrets

By James Kachmar Last summer, I wrote about the appellate court’s decision in VL Systems, Inc. v. Unison, Inc. in which the Court struck down a “no hire” provision contained in a consulting agreement as violating section 16600 of California’s Business and Professions Code. Section 16600 provides “Except as provided in this chapter, every contract by… Continue Reading

Intentional Interference Claims and Preemption by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Posted in Trade Secrets

By James Kachmar On March 5, 2008, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California (“District Court”) in First Advantage Background Services Corp. v. PrivateEyes, Inc., (“First Advantage”) found, inter alia, that the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act, California Civil Code section 3426, et seq. (“CUTSA”) preempts common law claims for intentional… Continue Reading

Caution Regarding “No-Hire” Provisions

Posted in Trade Secrets

By James Kachmar Businesses, especially consultants, frequently include a no-hire provision in connection with service or consulting agreements. These provisions are usually intended to prevent the client from soliciting or hiring away the consulting company’s employees. No-hire provisions have two primary goals:  First, to protect the employees of one business from being recruited away by the companies… Continue Reading

The Ninth Circuit Expands Employer’s Right to Sue Competitors Who Hire Away Their Employees

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Andrea Anapolsky The state of California is considered an at-will employment state, where both the employee and the employer may freely walk away from the employment contract at any time with little to no consequences.   This freedom, while intended to benefit both the employer and the employee, has enabled several employers to hire away… Continue Reading

A Refresher on the Trade Secrets Doctrine, Part I

Posted in Trade Secrets

By Andrea Anapolksy           In the wake of jury selection for the Coco-Cola Co. theft trade secrets trial and Apple Computer’s two-year quest to discover who leaked trade secret information about an unreleased Apple product to several online blog sites, misappropriation of a company’s trade secrets may have become increasingly more difficult to prevent. This article… Continue Reading