When National Fish and Seafood’s (NFS) head of research left for a new opportunity at Tampa Bay Fisheries, she may not have taken just her talents to the competition. According to NFS’ lawsuit, the former employee transferred thousands of files containing confidential and proprietary information prior to her departure from the company. NFS also alleges that the CEO of Tampa Bay Fisheries conspired with NFS’s former employee to steal trade secrets involving its proprietary clam production process.
Glenn Dassoff is a first chair trial lawyer with extensive and diverse experience having successfully tried more than 50 cases in his career. His trial work has covered every major practice area of the firm, though most concentrated in the intellectual property, trademark, general commercial litigation, real estate, banking, and construction industries, where he has handled litigation for some of the best known companies in America.
For many years, Glenn has represented some of the nation’s leading high technology companies in a variety of litigation disputes involving theft of trade secrets, unfair competition, intellectual property, and joint-venture financings. He has successfully handled over a hundred trade secret cases, including more than a dozen trials and related evidentiary hearings on injunctive relief.
He has also handled shareholder class action and derivative suits, securities, government contracts, defense contracts, etc.
A sample of Glenn's experience includes the following matters:
- Won a complete defense verdict in a $55 million identity theft case for one of the country's largest drug laboratories.
- Won the second largest damage verdict in California after an 11-week jury trial involving breach of contract claims against a large shopping center redevelopment.
- Won a complete defense verdict for one of the world’s largest mobile phone companies, invalidating a competitor’s LCD patents.
- Won a complete defense verdict in an injunctive relief case involving alleged theft of trade secrets between two of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies.
- Successful representation of key contractor in dispute over cost and completion of the military facilities in the “Green Zone” in Baghdad, Iraq.
- Successful defense of one of the world’s largest electronics companies in licensing dispute over marketing and distribution of e-commerce software.
- Won large settlement for one of the country’s largest tire store chains in trademark infringement case involving use of adwords in advertising on the internet.
- Successful in representing one of the world’s largest defense contractors in a dispute involving the theft of the source code for the guidance system on the Tomahawk Cruise Missile.
- Won one of the largest verdicts in San Diego County for this country’s preeminent tunnel manufacturing company after a 10-week jury trial. The dispute involved design and production delay issues surrounding construction of the $300 million South Bay Waste Treatment and Outfall Tunnel, located on the border between Mexico and California. The project was an outgrowth of the NAFTA treaty and has resulted in the successful cleanup of one of the world’s pollution “hot spots.”
Glenn is a popular speaker for many of the country’s leading bar groups, including the Rutter Group and the Continuing Education of the Bar, and has lectured on subjects ranging from civil procedure before and during trial, to cross-examination and jury selection. He has served as keynote speaker for the American Appraisal Institute at its National Convention.
Posts by: Glenn Dassoff
The strange contraption in this photo is at the heart of a recent decision regarding the pleading standard for DTSA claims. On June 15, Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Juan Sanchez denied a motion to dismiss counts of trade secret misappropriation against Joshua Andrew Adams, a former project engineer for PDC Machines, Inc. who left the company and later joined Nel Hydrogen A/S. PDC and Nel collaborated in 2008 to develop high-pressure hydrogen gas diaphragm compressors and signed a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) barring Nel from replicating or reverse engineering the technology. Adams was also subject to an NDA that prohibited him from using any of PDC’s confidential information and trade secrets without written permission. In the complaint, PDC asserts that Adams now works for Nel, and that Nel has filed at least one patent application listing Adams as the inventor for a high-pressure diaphragm hydrogen compressor that is nearly identical to PDC’s version. READ MORE
The law in California is well settled that, with few exceptions, non-compete agreements are unenforceable. Less clear is whether and to what extent employee non-solicitation and no-hire agreements can withstand a court’s scrutiny. These types of agreements often exist between employers and employees, as well as between employers themselves. And while non-solicitation provisions containing broad language prohibiting direct or indirect solicitation are common, there is significant confusion over the extent of their enforceability in California. Are these agreements enforceable? As is often the case, the answer is “it depends.” Fortunately, there are a handful of published appellate cases highlighting the fine distinctions that guide the analysis: READ MORE
Contrary to common perception, California employees who signed restrictive covenants prior to January 1, 2017 are not completely immune to enforcement of all restrictions on competition. For the second time in several years, a foreign corporation, Synthes, Inc., successfully enforced a non-competition agreement against former employees who were California residents. In the most recent case, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, enforced the company’s agreement against a Sacramento resident. READ MORE
Intellectual property owners may seek to protect certain information either by obtaining a patent or by maintaining its secrecy. A patent provides strong, exclusive rights for a fixed period of time, generally twenty years. A trade secret may last indefinitely but protection can be lost through independent development, reverse engineering, or failure to maintain secrecy. (We previously published a chart comparing the features of patents and trade secrets.) This article discusses those instances when trade secret protection may be superior to patent protection. READ MORE
This week, TSW revisits some cases that taught us valuable lessons in the complex and ever-changing trade secrets arena. As our readers know, trade secrets law keeps evolving due to new case law and the near certainty of a new federal cause of action, which will provide for federal jurisdiction where there was none, consistency throughout the country on enforcement of these claims, and a couple of new remedies. The risks to trade secret protection also continue to grow due to cybersecurity and social media considerations. In short, a business must balance several factors when determining how to best protect trade secrets, but it is sometimes the simple missteps that can sink a company’s efforts to enforce its trade secrets. Here are some key takeaways learned over the years. READ MORE