Attorney’s Fees

Securing your Network: Claiming Contacts as Trade Secrets

The paradigmatic trade secret is something that is obviously technical, such as source code or the formula for Coke.  Though trade secrets protection is not limited to technical trade secrets, it can sometimes be tricky to claim trade secrecy over non-technical trade secrets, such as customer or employee contact lists, that are commercially valuable yet may seem more accessible and therefore less secret.  California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2019.210 compounds the issue by requiring a plaintiff to make a detailed disclosure of trade secrets as a precondition to frame the discovery to come.  Section 2019.210 therefore immediately places an often-challenging decision upon the plaintiff—selecting what it should claim as trade secrets in litigation. READ MORE

Ninth Circuit Upholds $5K Sanctions Award Against Attorney Based on Factual Misrepresentations in Trade Secrets Dispute

Earlier this week, the Ninth Circuit approved a district court order from the Northern District of California imposing $5,000 in sanctions against a plaintiff’s attorney for factual misrepresentations made in an underlying trade secret case lawsuit brought by a toy inventor.

According to the complaint, California toy designer Jason Heller wanted to get a price quote for a prototype of a robotic hamster toy he had designed.  He entered into NDAs with two Hong Kong toy companies and handed over information about his hamster toy idea.  READ MORE