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.
A California Superior Court Judge in Orange County granted an attorneys’ fees award in the amount of $5.8 million to defendant Landmark Event Staffing Services, Inc. (“Landmark”) in Contemporary Services Corporation v. Landmark Event Staffing Services, Inc., Case No. 30-2009-00123939. This ruling reinforces the importance of carefully calibrating litigation strategy in trade secrets misappropriation cases to focus on vindicating legally protectable interests. Trade secrets litigation should not be used merely as an aggressive tactic to stifle a competitor.
Continue Reading Superior Court of California Attorneys’ Fees Award Punishes Plaintiff’s Bad-Faith Litigation for Alleged Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
Peter A. Steinmeyer, Co-Chair of the firm’s Trade Secrets & Employee Mobility strategic initiative and an editor of this blog, is set to present the webinar “Preventing & Remediating Trade Secret Misappropriation by Disloyal Employees,” for the Federal Bar Association. You can learn more about the webinar here and can register to attend here.
Continue Reading Peter Steinmeyer to Present the Webinar “Preventing & Remediating Trade Secret Misappropriation by Disloyal Employees”
In E.J. Brooks Company v. Cambridge Security Seals, the Court of Appeals of New York narrowed the scope of permissible damage claims plaintiffs can assert in trade secret actions under New York law. The ruling denies plaintiffs the ability to recover costs that defendants avoided through misappropriating trade secrets (known as “avoided costs” theory), making New York law less attractive to certain types of trade secret actions due to the state’s conservative approach in calculating damages.
E.J. Brooks Company d/b/a TydenBrooks (“TydenBrooks”), the largest manufacturer of plastic indicative security seals in the United States, brought an action in federal…
Continue Reading New York Court Limits Scope of Damage Awards in Trade Secret Actions
Financial analytics firm Novantas, Inc. and two individual defendants closed out 2017 with a victory, securing the dismissal of claims by rival First Manhattan Consulting Group LLC (“First Manhattan Consulting Group”) , which accused them of competing unfairly by poaching First Manhattan Consulting Group’s employees in order to steal its trade secrets. The result demonstrates the need for plaintiffs in such cases to be able to prove with specificity which trade secrets were taken or threatened by the defendants’ conduct.
The Complaint alleged that Novantas engaged in a “pattern and practice of poaching” First Manhattan Consulting Group’s employees, including…
Continue Reading Judge and Jury Clear Financial Firm of Poaching and Trade Secrets Claims
Consider the following scenario that was the premise of the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964), and later adapted into the classic film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971): your company (Willy Wonka Chocolates) is in the candy business and develops an idea for an everlasting gobstopper (a sucking candy that never gets smaller). Anticipating substantial profits from the product, the company designates the everlasting gobstopper formula as a trade secret. As in the book and film, a rival chocolate company (Slugworth Chocolates) seeks to steal the trade secret formula in order to develop and market a competing…
Continue Reading Secrets to Protecting Trade Secrets Abroad
After years of stops and starts in Congressional efforts to pass a law creating a federal claim for misappropriation of trade secrets that can be pursued by private citizens and companies (as opposed to federal prosecutors), the last few weeks have produced an astonishing acceleration of those efforts. This month, the Defend Trade Secrets Act has been approved by both houses of Congress in resounding fashion. It is on the brink of being enacted into law.
On April 27, 2016, the House of Representatives voted 410-2 to pass the Defend Trade Secrets Act. That vote came quickly on the heels…
Continue Reading House Passes Federal Trade Secrets Bill