Employers looking to protect their intellectual property and proprietary information, and wondering whether they can punish the departing employees that ignore demands to return laptops and other transportable electronic devices that hold such data, may now have a newly invigorated weapon at their disposal — the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. A recent federal district court decision found that an employer establishes the required “loss” and “damage” elements of a CFAA claim against a former employee by showing that such employees “refused to return their computers” when requested, that such employees “deleted information from their computers,” and that the employer “had to perform a forensic investigation to determine what information was deleted from” these laptops. Because the CFAA provides a statutory claim that applies to all electronically stored information (confidential or not), provides for federal court subject matter and allows for the recovery of a variety of damages and costs, including those related to expert fees, employers and intellectual property owners may find it attractive. For further details and analysis of these issues, see, by clicking here, the May 5, 2009 article by Jim Flynn appearing in IP Law 360 and Employment Law 360.
- Managing Director / Member of the Firm