Earlier this year, we picked mandatory public disclosure laws as a trend to watch in 2014. Developments in California seem to bear that out, and trade secrets owners will want to keep a close eye on the “green chemistry” movement and expanded public disclosure requirements for manufacturers of a wide range of consumer products. Companies that make or sell products in California — ranging from electronics and household cleaners to children’s toys and cosmetics — will need to map out a plan that complies with the new requirements while at the same time protecting their valuable intellectual property, including trade secrets. READ MORE
Posts by: Mark Mermelstein
The “I Was Just Trying to Land a New Job” Defense to Criminal Trade Secret Theft Charges
On February 28, 2008, Hanjuan Jin, a Chinese-born former software engineer for Motorola, arrived at Chicago O’Hare Airport en route to Beijing. During a random customs check, officials discovered that she had a one-way ticket to China, $31,252 in cash, thousands of confidential documents regarding Motorola’s iDEN cell phone technology, and ties to the Chinese military. Her excuse for travelling with thousands of confidential and proprietary Motorola documents in her suitcase? Jin said that she planned to refresh her knowledge of the work she had done over the past years with Motorola, “so that I can prepare myself for further career going [sic].” READ MORE
It’s Not Just for Patents Anymore: Using the ITC to Combat Theft of Trade Secrets
Trade secret theft knows no borders in an age of cybertheft and global corporate espionage. But U.S. district courts are often too slow and procedurally ill-equipped to help in cases of international misappropriation, with several recent cases never getting off the ground because of problems serving foreign defendants. Increasingly, victims of foreign misappropriation are turning to the U.S. International Trade Commission — a body armed to hit back at trade secret thieves anywhere in the world.
For companies seeking to remedy the theft of trade secrets by overseas perpetrators, the options have been limited, especially if the thief or the products the thief produces are outside of the United States. Procedural hurdles like obtaining jurisdiction over a foreign company, or the perpetrator’s resident country being inhospitable to claims by an American victim, can thwart an American corporation’s ability to prosecute the foreign theft of its own trade secrets.
An ITC action doesn’t present these obstacles. READ MORE