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DTSA’s First Verdict “Fig”-ure: Jam’n to the Tune of $500,000

In little under a year after its enactment, a Federal Court jury in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued the first verdict under the Defend Trade Secrets Act in favor of the Plaintiff Dalmatia Import Group, Inc. The jury awarded Dalmatia $2.5 Million in total damages for all claims, with $500,000 attributed to its DTSA and Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act claim. Just this week, Dalmatia filed a motion for judgement on the verdict,  seeking treble damages for its related trademark and counterfeiting claims.  If the court awards treble damages, total damages could exceed $5 Million.

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“It’s a Free Country, Right?” Court Declines to Enjoin Ex-Free Country Ltd. Employees From Contacting Customers on Purloined Contact List

Within days of each other, your clothing company―Free Country Ltd.―loses two employees who decamp to a rival to set up a competing apparel line.  You discover that just before leaving, they transferred some 50,000 documents to a personal account—customer orders, your master contact list, and product design information.  Incensed, you file a trade secrets lawsuit and seek an injunction prohibiting the thieves from soliciting your customers.  Their defense amounts to, “so what if we took the documents―it’s a free country!”  Easy win, right?  Wrong.  These are the facts of a recent trade secrets lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, in which the court denied the plaintiff’s request that its former employee defendants be prohibited from soliciting plaintiff’s customers. READ MORE

DTSA Immunity: A Plaintiff’s Dream Or A Burdensome Nightmare?

If you are a regular reader of TSW, you know we have been monitoring developments relating to the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). While the Northern District of California was the first court to enter a written opinion under the DTSA, case law is continuing to develop across the country, including in the First Circuit. READ MORE

Sparks Fly in Ninth Circuit’s Nosal II Opinion

As many loyal TSW readers know, we’ve been watching the ongoing saga involving ex-Korn Ferry recruiter David Nosal wind its way through the courts since the early days of this blog. And last month, the highly anticipated Ninth Circuit opinion in United States v. Nosal was issued on July 5, 2016 (“Nosal II”). This was the second time the Ninth Circuit had issued a ruling in the case relating to charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (the “CFAA”). In April 2012, an en banc panel dismissed five of the eight CFAA counts against Nosal (“Nosal I”). A jury subsequently convicted Nosal of the remaining three CFAA counts, as well as two Economic Espionage Act (“EEA”) counts in April 2013 and Nosal was sentenced to 366 days in prison, three years supervised release, community service, $60,000 in fines, and restitution. READ MORE

“We’re Not Gonna Take It!” Significant Changes to Japan’s Trade Secret Protection Law

After more than a decade of successive incremental statutory and regulatory changes aimed at strengthening trade secret protection of in Japan, Japan really rolled up its sleeves in 2015 and made significant changes to protect Japanese companies from the perceived threat posed by its Asian neighbors to its crown technological jewels.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO US: Trade Secrets Watch Marks One Very Eventful Year

One year ago today, Trade Secrets Watch went live with a story on Chinese cyberhacking.  In the year since, with our readers’ support, we have written about all things trade secret—from foodies to fracking, trials to top 10 lists, computer fraud to confidentiality agreements, industrial espionage to international law.  Trade secrets law endlessly fascinates us, and we thank you for sharing our passion by reading and following us on Twitter.

If you are not already, please follow us (@TS_Watch) and sign up for our weekly email newsletter.

Thank you again for making our first year a success.  We look forward to sharing the ride with you in the next year and beyond!

-The editors and contributors of Trade Secrets Watch

Protecting Trade Secrets in Russia

The primary laws governing Russian trade secrets are the Federal Law on Information, Information Technologies and Information Protection and the Trade Secret Law. The Civil Code, the Labor Code, the Criminal Code, and the Code of Administrative Offenses provide additional statutory protection for trade secrets.

The Information Law defines trade secrets as “information to which access is limited.” Under the Trade Secret Law a trade secret is “any information (production, technical, economic, organizational, information, etc.) which has an actual or potential commercial value because it is unknown to third parties and because third parties do not have free access to it by legitimate means, and with respect to which the holder of such information has implemented a trade secrecy system.” Not all information may constitute a trade secret: the Trade Secret Law expressly lists categories of information that may not be a trade secret (e.g., information on the environment, population, or violations of law).

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Trade Secrets Watch Profiled in Page-One Article on Law Firm Blogs

Thanks to you, readers, less than three months after its launch, Trade Secrets Watch drew the notice of California’s leading legal weekly.  The Recorder put us on Page One as an exemplar of the growing trend of law firm-written blogs that take an engaging but journalistically serious approach to legal issues.  You can see a web version of the article here.  We’ve also copied it below: READ MORE

Protecting Trade Secrets in China

Trade secrets were first introduced into China law through the Article 10 of the “Anti-Unfair Competition Law of China” (effective Dec. 1, 1993).  This defines a “trade secret” as technological or business information that (a) is unavailable to the public; (b) creates economic benefits for its owner and is of practical utility; and (c) is subject to measures taken by its owner to maintain its secrecy.  And it defines “misappropriation” as taking place when:

 

  • a party acquires the owner’s trade secret by improper means such as theft, economic inducement, or coercion;
  • a party discloses, uses, or allows other parties to use the trade secret acquired by these means;
  • a party discloses, uses, or allows other parties to use the trade secret in violation of an agreement with, or requirement by, the owner to protect the trade secret; or
  • a third party acquires, uses, or discloses other parties’ trade secrets with the actual or presumed knowledge of the above-mentioned illegal acts.

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