When we think about trade secrets, we usually focus on keeping our own data safe. But an even bigger risk comes from hiring employees who can infect our systems with confidential information from a competitor. Companies often learn this the hard way. Boeing’s hiring several managers from Lockheed led to a $615 million fine and indictments of the individuals. Hilton poached two Starwood executives to create a competing hotel brand, but they came with thousands of documents and prompted a lawsuit that killed the project and cost $150 million to settle. Recently, a similar situation at Zillow required a $130 million settlement. READ MORE
As lead counsel for Adobe Systems in the country’s first major software patent infringement case, he won a jury verdict that the National Law Journal chose as one of the year’s Top Defense Verdicts. His later $90 million technology copyright settlement for ESS Technology earned him California Lawyer magazine’s Lawyer of the Year award.
He was a driving force behind the recently adopted Defend Trade Secrets Act, which created a federal civil claim for misappropriation of a company’s know-how. The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary invited Jim, as a recognized expert on trade secret law and litigation, to testify and provide drafting advice about the proposed legislation. His testimony is available here.
In addition to a successful career as a Silicon Valley trial lawyer, Jim has held leadership roles in several national organizations, including president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and chairman of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 2009, the White House appointed Jim Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, an agency of the United Nations, where he served for five years as director of the international patent system.