Consider this: a former employee has just left his or her employer and may have taken trade secrets to a competitor. Can the employer log in to that former employee’s personal social media account to search for potentially incriminating evidence? For most employers, the answer may be “no,” as doing so may be unlawful or at a minimum, may constitute “unclean hands” (a doctrine barring equitable relief when the party seeking the relief has committed misconduct related to the claims at issue) possibly jeopardizing the employer’s trade secret misappropriation (and other claims) against the former employee. READ MORE
Undaunted by a case’s legal or technical complexity, precedent, or magnitude, Jake will not stop until his clients’ patents, copyrights, and trade secrets are protected; the cybersecurity breach is stopped; and the cybercriminals are brought to justice.
To develop those creative legal solutions, Jake draws upon his unique blend of experience. He has carried out Internet enforcement actions involving cybercrime, fraud, and deceptive activity; brand violations; intellectual property infringement; trade secrets; and cybersecurity breaches. Jake has also handled a variety of complex commercial and tech transaction litigation in federal and federal court, as well as several white collar criminal investigations. Jake also draws from his practical litigation experience and trial advocacy.
Posts by: Jacob M. Heath
The following blog post is courtesy of our sister blog, NorCal IP.
Usually, one benefit of being a plaintiff is deciding in what forum to pursue litigation. Generally, even a foreign-based plaintiff may pursue litigation in a U.S. forum where a defendant may be found or in which there is a substantial connection to the litigation. There are, however, limits on a plaintiff’s choice of forum, and a recent decision in Tapgerine LLC v. 50Mango, Inc. demonstrates that pushing those limits may result in sanctions.
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
(Editorial Note: This is our first of a two-part series exploring recent litigation under the newly-enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act.)
In late May 2016, Magic Leap, Inc. became a pioneer in trade secrets litigation when it became one of the first to venture into the uncharted waters of the Defend Trade Secrets Act. Magic Leap—a developer of technologies used for 3D renderings in augmented reality—sued two of its former employees for trade secret misappropriation under the DTSA in federal court in the Northern District of California. As we recently reported, President Obama signed into law what some consider the “most significant” intellectual properly legislation since the Lanham Act. 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
This past summer, we reported on an emergency petition to Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court to stay a Florida Supreme Court’s decision permitting disclosure of documents submitted under seal during a trial challenging Florida legislature’s redistricting process. The emergency petition was filed by Patrick Bainter and Data Targeting, Inc., political consultants hired by the Republican Party of Florida to assist with the redistricting process in that state. At issue in the petition were more than 500 pages of documents that purportedly contained confidential READ MORE
Yihao “Ben” Pu is probably coming to grips with the phrases “crime doesn’t pay…” and “don’t do the crime unless you’re willing to do the time….” In federal court in Chicago, on Thursday, August 7, 2014, Pu, a former quantitative engineer for Citadel LLC, plead guilty to stealing trade secrets and other private information from an unnamed “Company A” located in Red Bank, New Jersey, and financial firm Citadel, related to their high-frequency trading platforms. (See United States of America v. Yihao Pu et al., Case No. 1:11-cr-00699 (N.D. Ill.))
Company A developed “high-performance technology and computer source code” to support rapid stock trading—known as “high frequency trading” or “HFT.” READ MORE
In the Brady Bunch episode “Stop Tattling,” Mike Brady (the father) gives Cindy (youngest of the clan) a stern warning after her tattling lands Alice (the Brady caretaker) in hot water with Sam (the Brady’s butcher and Alice’s date to the dance). Mike Brady explains the pitfalls of tattling during this scolding and warns: “You have to learn when to keep quiet.”
The case of J-M Manufacturing Co., Inc. v. Phillips & Cohen LLP, et al., Case No. L79214 (Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, filed Feb. 10), highlights the “when to keep quiet” dilemma facing modern-day tattletales—i.e., whistleblowers. These individuals must decide whether to keep quiet about suspected corporate malfeasance or to come clean, disclose potential trade secrets in the name of public welfare, and face potential liability for doing so. Last month, J-M sued John Hendrix, a former J-M engineer, and the law firm of Phillips & Cohen LLP (“P&C”), alleging trade secret misappropriation, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract, computer-related offenses, conspiracy, and racketeering stemming from Hendrix’s 2005 whistleblower False Claims Act lawsuit against J-M in a federal court in California. READ MORE