Will Your Cyber Insurance Respond When You Need It Most?

As many companies are considering purchasing cyber insurance, they often wonder: “Will my insurer be there when I have a data breach?”  Cyber insurers have generally been good in paying claims. But the recent lawsuit featured in this Orrick Client Alert demonstrates that as the landscape evolves, insurers may refuse to cover breach costs by arguing that insureds failed to meet “minimum requirements” for cybersecurity. Tending to cybersecurity policies and procedures before breaches occur is more important than ever. For more insight on how to avoid facing the loss of cyber insurance coverage just when you need it most, keep reading.

Will We See Federal Trade Secret Legislation Passed This Year?

In January of this year, we noted that trade secret protection has lately been on the minds of lawmakers in Washington, and that federal trade secret legislation was very close to being enacted.  While nothing is pending at the moment, we can expect renewed efforts similar to two bills that were introduced in Congress last year – one each in the Senate and House.  In anticipation of such efforts, we thought it would be useful to review what happened in 2014. Read More

Kolon Finally Served With Criminal Summons in Korea, Subsequently Settles for $360 Million

On April 30, 2015, Kolon Industries finally resolved two long-standing disputes regarding its alleged misappropriation of trade secrets related to DuPont Co.’s bullet-proof Kevlar Material.  The settlement resolved a six-year civil dispute with competitor DuPont, as well as an Economic Espionage Act criminal indictment that had been pending for three years.  According to the terms of the plea agreement filed with the court, Kolon will pay $275 million in restitution to DuPont and $85 million to the government in fines. Read More

Snowden Strikes Back: Mass Collection of Telephony Metadata Struck Down By the Second Circuit

As post-Snowden America well knows, for some years now the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting bulk telephone metadata under the authority of Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and aggregating it into data banks subject to government query. Under the “business records” provision of this law, the NSA has been collecting all kinds of information about the numbers you dial, how often you dial them, and how long your conversations are—and it’s been doing so for years. Read More

Things to Think About Before You Leave to Work for a Competitor

An employee who leaves a company to work for a competitor can run into a hornet’s nest of legal problems.  The latest example of this classic fact pattern involves William Georgelis, a sales manager for building material manufacturer CPG International LLC.  After more than 10 years at the company, Georgelis pursued an opportunity at CPG’s competitor Snavely Forest Products.  In his job transition, Georgelis did some things that were potentially problematic: Read More

First Foreign Hacker Is Convicted In The United States Of Hacking Crimes Involving Theft Of Trade Secrets From American Companies

A 22-year-old Canadian hacker has been sentenced to federal prison by a Delaware court for engaging in a conspiracy to break into the computer networks of several large gaming companies, to steal trade secret and other information related to unreleased products, and to commit criminal copyright infringement.  According to the Government’s Sentencing Memorandum, David Pokora of Ontario, sentenced last Thursday was “a leading member in an international computer hacking ring . . . that committed numerous unlawful intrusions into the computer networks of various technology companies involved in the $22 billion-dollar video gaming industry.”  The conspiracy’s victims included Microsoft, Epic Games (which develops the highly popular “Gears of War” series), and Activision Blizzard (which published, among many other successful games, “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3”). Read More

All Bets Are Off: Kentucky Downs Trade Secrets Case Presents Novel Question Under Kentucky’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act

Earlier this month, AmTote International, Inc. sued the famed Kentucky Downs racetrack, three high-ranking Kentucky Downs employees, and Encore Gaming, LLC in federal court alleging misappropriation of trade secrets related to horse racing betting machines.  AmTote’s lawsuit presents the interesting question of whether the “inevitable disclosure” doctrine applies under Kentucky law. Read More

Back in a Flash: Sergey “Flash Boy” Aleynikov Returns to Court for New Trial

Sergey Aleynikov’s six-year odyssey through the U.S. judicial systems—both federal and state—continues.  Last week, Aleynikov stepped into a New York State courtroom to defend himself at trial against a pair of criminal charges stemming from his 2009 arrest for allegedly stealing source code for one of Goldman Sachs  high-frequency trading platforms.  If convicted on the two counts – unlawful use of secret scientific material and unlawful duplication of computer-related material – Aleynikov could face a return trip to prison for up to eight years. Read More

How Much Damages Can You Realistically Expect for Trade Secrets Misappropriation in China

The best way to protect trade secrets is to prevent them from being misappropriated in the first place, but when trade secret misappropriation occurs, a trade secret holder will likely want to obtain adequate damages through litigation. The methods of calculating damages for trade secret misappropriation are thus crucial, since remedies available to the trade secret holder are determined by these methods. Although China lacks formal remedies for trade secret misappropriation, it has a body of trade secret law that flows from various statutes. Read More

Navigating Non-Competes When a Worldwide Presence Is the New Norm

Businesses that compete globally are once again reminded of the need to avoid overreaching when requiring employees to sign non-compete agreements.  Earlier this year, the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a ruling that a non-compete agreement was unreasonable on its face and thus enforceable because it imposed a blanket prohibition on the employee’s ability to seek employment of any kind with a competitor worldwide.  While the Eighth Circuit recognized that non-compete agreements had been upheld in the past despite containing no geographic limitations, the court distinguished those agreements on the basis that they contained narrowly circumscribed prohibitions.  The Eighth Circuit’s analysis provides a valuable “lesson learned” for businesses crafting or considering an effective non-compete. Read More