Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

Now on Spilling Secrets, our podcast series on the future of non-compete and trade secrets law:

When faced with trade secret misappropriation, employers must decide how to proceed. In this episode, hear some tips on how and why employers might choose to refer the matter for criminal investigation.

Continue Reading Spilling Secrets Podcast: When Trade Secret Misappropriation Goes Criminal

Thomson Reuters Practical Law has released an update to “Trade Secret Laws: Connecticut,” a Q&A guide to state law on trade secrets and confidentiality for private employers in Connecticut, co-authored by our colleagues David S. Poppick and Carol J. Faherty, attorneys at Epstein Becker Green.

Continue Reading Connecticut Trade Secret Laws: 2022 Update

Now on Spilling Secrets, our podcast series on the future of non-compete and trade secrets law:

Non-compete agreements are generally unenforceable against lawyers, but there are some exceptions. In this episode, hear about employer options for restrictive covenants, including non-competes, non-solicits, and confidentiality agreements, for both in-house and outside lawyers.

Continue Reading Spilling Secrets Podcast: Non-Compete Agreements for In-House and Outside Lawyers

It’s no secret that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has been struggling financially for well over a decade. One means of combatting its struggles has been to contract with third-party resellers to market USPS services and drive customers to it. Indeed, just one of those resellers, Express One, delivered over $3 billion in revenue to the USPS in the past 12 months alone. Although the annual operating budget of the USPS is $77 billion, $3 billion is still real money—especially since the USPS suffered losses of $6.9 billion last year.

Continue Reading Neither Snow nor Rain nor Heat nor Gloom of Night . . . Will Stop the U.S. Postal Service from Stealing Its Contractor’s Trade Secrets?

“The law is not a game, and . . . civil discovery is not a game of hide and seek. The decision in this case should encourage litigants to understand that it is risky business to recklessly or deliberately fail to produce documents, and perilous to disobey court orders to review and, if necessary, supplement prior productions. It is in the interests of the administration of justice to default [defendants] to send those messages.”

So said United States District Judge Mark L. Wolf in a 72-page decision in which he entered a default judgment as a sanction in a trade secret case against the defendants for what he referred to as “extreme misconduct.” Memorandum and Order on Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions, Red Wolf Energy Trading, LLC v. BIA Capital Mgmt., LLC, et al., C.A. No. 19-10119-MLW (D. Mass. Sept. 8, 2022).

Continue Reading Pennywise and Pound Foolish: Default Judgment Entered Against Trade Secret Defendants as a Sanction for Inadequate E-Discovery

Now on Spilling Secrets, our podcast series on the future of non-compete and trade secrets law:

An employer often overlooks training employees on what their restrictive covenant means and how to honor their confidentiality, non-competition, and non-solicitation obligations. But this type of training can be critical for employers in protecting trade secrets and avoiding litigation in the future.

Continue Reading Spilling Secrets Podcast: Employers – Train on Trade Secrets

As our antitrust colleagues explained recently, on August 26, 2022, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published its “Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022–2026,” as required under the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010.  Readers of this blog will be interested in two small, but important, items in the Strategic Plan related to noncompete agreements.

First, under “Objective 2.1: Identify, investigate, and take actions against anticompetitive mergers and business practices,” the FTC opines that “[a]nticompetitive mergers and business practices harm Americans through higher prices, lower wages, or reduced quality, choice, and innovation. Enforcement of antitrust laws provides substantial benefits to the public by helping to ensure that markets are open and competitive.” It then identifies certain “[s]trategies” that the FTC intends to pursue over the next five years, including “[i]ncreas[ing] use of provisions to improve worker mobility including restricting the use of non-compete provisions.” It’s unclear exactly what provisions it intends to increase its use of, but nonetheless the FTC will be focused on the issue.

Continue Reading The Federal Trade Commission’s Five-Year Strategic Plan Unsurprisingly Includes a Focus on Noncompetes

Thomson Reuters Practical Law has released the 2022 update to “Trade Secret Laws: Illinois,” a Q&A guide to state law on trade secrets and confidentiality for private employers, authored by our colleagues Peter Steinmeyer and David Clark at Epstein Becker Green.

Continue Reading Illinois Trade Secret Laws: 2022 Q&A Guide for Employers

Now on Spilling Secrets, our podcast series on the future of non-compete and trade secrets law:

Two and a half years into the pandemic, it appears that remote work is here to stay, to varying degrees, in virtually all industries. How do restrictive covenants work in this remote work era? In this Spilling Secrets episode, hear how employers are addressing restrictive covenant concerns now that employees may be located anywhere.

Continue Reading Spilling Secrets Podcast: Restrictive Covenants in the Remote Work Boom

As we have previously reported, the Colorado Assembly passed sweeping changes to the state’s noncompete law that, among other things, (1) set compensation floors for enforcement of both noncompetes ($101,250) and customer non-solicitation agreements ($60,750), which will be adjusted annually based on inflation; (2) require a separate, standalone notice to employees before a new or prospective worker accepts an offer of employment, or at least 14 days before the earlier of: (a) the effective date of the restrictions, or (b) the effective date of any additional compensation or changes in the terms or conditions of employment that provide consideration for the restriction, for existing workers; and (3) prohibit the inclusion of out-of-state choice-of-law and venue provisions. Those amendments take effect today, August 10, 2022.

Compliance with these amendments is even more important due to a prior amendment, effective earlier this year, which provides that violations of Colorado’s noncompete law can subject employers to criminal liability (a Class 2 misdemeanor, which carries possible punishment of 120 days in prison, a $750 fine per violation, or both), as well as hefty fines and possible injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees to aggrieved workers.

Continue Reading Reminder: Amendments to Colorado Noncompete Law Take Effect Today