Imagine preparing for that big meeting on your way to work, while you ride along in your car—without the need for a driver. What sounds like it might be out of a sci-fi movie, may actually be the not-so-distant future. Such technology is at the center of the Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc. litigation. The self-driving technology at issue hasn’t been the only intriguing part of this case–the litigation itself has been action packed, and we’ve been watching closely. As you’ll recall from previous posts, Waymo alleged that, while working at Waymo, its star engineer Anthony Levandowski downloaded over 14,000 confidential files before leaving the company to start his own competing business, Ottomoto, which was later acquired by Uber. The twists and turns of this fast-paced litigation have included Uber’s denied petition for arbitration, Fifth Amendment invocations by Levandowski and his failed appeal, a criminal referral by Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California, and now an order granting a “limited” preliminary injunction blocking any participation of Levandowski in Uber’s self-driving car project. READ MORE
Gabriel M. Ramsey, a partner in both the Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices, is a member of the Intellectual Property Group and a leader of the Cybersecurity & Data Privacy Group.
Gabe focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation and cybersecurity. He has twice been named one of the top 75 IP litigators in California by the Daily Journal and has been repeatedly recognized as an “IP Star" by Managing Intellectual Property magazine.
Gabe has substantial experience in high technology and entertainment related matters involving copyright, trademark, trade secret and patent law. He has significant experience in carrying out Internet enforcement actions and investigations involving cybercrime, trade secret misappropriation, fraud and deceptive activity, data breaches and brand violations. He has also handled many licensing matters, open source licensing disputes and general commercial disputes. He has expertise in matters involving computer software, hardware, Internet and networking technologies, videogames, cloud computing, new media and entertainment content.
Gabe has represented Microsoft Corp., Facebook, Inc., McAfee, Inc., EMC Corp., Oracle Corp., Perfect World Entertainment, Inc., NCSoft, Namco Bandai Games, NVIDIA Corp., IGN Entertainment, Inc., CNET Networks, eHarmony.com, Say Media, Audible Magic Corp., Affinity Circles, Inc., Gracenote, Inc., Fox Entertainment Group, Fox Broadcasting, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company, Lucasfilm, Ltd., LucasArts Entertainment Co., Digidesign and Mesa/Boogie, Ltd.
His notable representations include the following:
Intellectual Property Matters
- Audible Magic Corp. Gabe led a team that successfully defended Audible Magic in a patent infringement action brought by Blue Spike LLC, in the Eastern District of Texas. Obtained summary judgment of noninfringement for all asserted patents in Audible Magic's favor.
- EMC Corp. / RSA Security. Gabe successfully defended EMC and RSA in a patent infringement matter involving data loss prevention and email security software.
- Fox Entertainment Group and Fox Broadcasting Corp. Gabe successfully defended Fox in a patent infringement action involving forward error correction techniques allegedly used in television broadcasts.
- Oracle. Gabe is on the brief for Oracle in Oracle v. Google (Fed. Cir.), a high stakes copyright appeal involving whether Android impermissibly copies Java.
- Photobucket. Gabe successfully defended Photobucket in a patent infringement case involving online photosharing and access control technologies.
- MGA Entertainment, Inc. Gabe was part of a team defending MGA in a copyright, trade secret and contract matter involving fashion dolls.
- NVIDIA Corp. Gabe successfully defended NVIDIA in a patent infringement case involving graphics card and computer bus architectures.
- Affinity Circles, Inc. Gabe successfully represented Affinity Circles in a trade secret dispute involving social networking technology.
- eHarmony.com. Gabe represented eHarmony in a multi-defendant patent litigation involving load-balancing web and application servers.
- International Game Technology. Gabe defended IGT in a patent litigation involving digital gaming technology, which resulted in invalidation of the asserted patents on summary judgment.
- Say Media. Gabe provides intellectual property advising and counseling to this Web-based video publishing company.
- Gracenote, Inc. Gabe represented Gracenote in a patent litigation involving online music recognition technology.
- The Walt Disney Company. Gabe has advised the Walt Disney Company on copyright matters.
- Universal Studios, Lucas Digital, and Oscar-Winning Special Effects Artist Christopher Boyes. Gabe assisted these clients in the successful defense of a copyright infringement case involving the motion picture The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
- Connectix Corporation. Gabe represented Connectix in a dispute over the creation of a video game hardware emulator involving copyright, trade secret and patent claims.
- Lucasfilm, Ltd. and LucasArts Entertainment Co. Gabe represented these clients as plaintiffs in a trademark infringement action, resulting in a finding of infringement on summary judgment.
- Pioneer Corporation. Gabe represented Pioneer in an ongoing industry standard-setting process involving the adoption of a digital video copy protection solution based on DVD watermarking technology.
Internet Security, Safety And Brand Protection Matters
- Carried out action to disable 96 IP addresses and thousands of domains that controlled the million computer "Rustock" botnet, capable of sending 30-40 billion spam email messages per day. The botnet was then the single largest source of spam in the world. This action decimated this massive criminal infrastructure.
- Carried out action to disable 276 domains that controlled the 400,000 computer "Waledac" botnet capable of sending nearly 1.5 billion spam email messages per day. This action was the first civil action of its kind.
- Carried out actions to disrupt the "Zeus," "IceIX," "SpyEye" and "Citadel" financial theft botnets, which were collectively responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars of online account theft.
- Microsoft v. Sabelnikov, carried out this action to dismantle the "Kelihos" spam botnet and pursue the botnet's creators.
- Microsoft v. Yong, carried out this action to dismantle the "Nitol" botnet, which leveraged counterfeit versions of the Windows operating system to distribute the malware and was used to carry out theft of personal information.
- Microsoft v. Chupakhin, carried out this action to dismantle the "Bamital" botnet, which was engaged in online advertising "click" fraud, and pursue the botnet's creators.
Cybercrime, Fraud, Abuse
- Identified and successfully pursued participants in an international criminal organization responsible for an enormous volume of fake pharmaceutical and adult spam email.
- Identified and pursued defendant that used Internet means to misappropriate and convey confidential technical material in a trade secret and corporate espionage matter.
- Prosecuted action against parties fraudulently manipulating email spam filters and carrying out illegal automated creation of email accounts and spam email activity.
- Successfully implemented enforcement program to disrupt distribution of pirated software through offshore file-sharing sites and peer-to-peer networks.
- Investigate and pursue credit card fraud ring abusing online gaming platform.
- Investigated and initiated international civil litigation and law enforcement referrals against an "advance fee fraud ring."
- Investigated and pursued perpetrators of an online and telephonic "customer support" scam.
- Prosecuted action against website publisher and internet traffic provider in a novel Internet case related to "click fraud" and related fraudulent online advertising practices.
- Investigated and pursued party engaged in fraudulent manipulation of search engine promotional program.
- Investigated and advised regarding various malware and adware programs.
- Defending Microsoft in Holomaxx v. Microsoft, a matter involving use and implementation of spam email filters.
- Prosecuted actions against cybersquatters infringing trademarks.
- Carried out international enforcement actions against promoters and distributors of counterfeit goods, including consumer products, digital works, software and pharmaceutical products.
Posts by: Gabriel M. Ramsey
A few months ago, Trade Secrets Watch covered the GlobeRanger Corp. case in which the Fifth Circuit joined 10 other circuits in determining that the Copyright Act does not preempt state trade secret misappropriation claims. The court used a two-prong test in its analysis, establishing that the Copyright Act could preempt a state law claim if two conditions are met: (1) if the work at issue fell within the subject matter of copyright; and (2) if the right that the litigant sought to protect was equivalent to any of the exclusive rights within the general scope of copyright. READ MORE
To qualify as a trade secret under either the UTSA or the DTSA, the information in question must not be “readily ascertainable” through “proper means.” But what does “readily ascertainable” mean? If information is ascertainable by the public, but it would take some work to compile it, does that qualify as “readily ascertainable”? READ MORE
In a tale of alleged betrayal and misappropriation of trade secrets in a courtroom (not) far, far away, a pioneering company in the area of special effects has sued its former employees and a vendor, claiming that they conspired to recreate the company’s primary business under a new name, erasing the evidence on the way out. The alleged tale is an illustration of how vulnerable a company and its trade secrets can be in times of ownership and business transition, especially when the company relies mostly on a single customer. READ MORE
You may have missed it this past weekend, but reports indicate the United States is considering sanctioning Chinese companies and individuals who have benefited from their government’s alleged cyber hacking of U.S. trade secrets. The Washington Post, quoting unidentified officials, states the “unprecedented” package of sanctions is part of a larger strategy to expand the “administration’s public response to the rising wave of cyber-economic espionage initiated by Chinese hackers” and to confront malicious cyber actors. READ MORE
Something lost is always in the last place you look (by definition). It can also sometimes be in the first.
Although technology has made it possible for outsiders to manipulate and infiltrate your company’s systems and obtain confidential and trade secret information in novel and subtle ways, a lingering, persistent threat to a company’s confidential information and trade secret comes from unhappy employees, both during the time of their employ and after separation. READ MORE
One of the biggest challenges the cyber-security field faces today—aside from outright hacking—is the fact that employees’ data is increasingly portable. Data portability can be a major boon for employers. For instance, it may allow an employer to offer its employees the ability to work remotely (something that can improve employees’ work/life balance, or could be a reasonable accommodation for an employee’s disability). However, data portability can also present major risks for an employer, particularly if an employee stands to profit from misuse of that information. READ MORE
Do you know which chemical ingredients create that complex smell in your favorite deodorant, cologne, or perfume? For years, the answer has been a resounding no. Historically, the consumer products industry has relied on trade secret protection to avoid disclosing natural and synthetic chemical “fragrance” ingredients in its products. However, in the last two months, several multinational companies, including the Clorox Co. and SC Johnson, have voluntarily disclosed the “fragrance” ingredients in their products. These affirmative steps signal that companies are increasingly trying to balance consumer safety concerns with trade secret protection. READ MORE