On Christmas, Santa and his elves have their work cut out for them and sometimes even they can use help to get their jobs done. During the holiday season, a variety of businesses assist Santa & Co. to import and distribute Christmas merchandise and other seasonal goods to retail stores in time for the holidays. Unfortunately, those companies can be as susceptible to a trade secrets dispute as anyone else, and one year just such a dispute threatened to put a damper on Christmas. READ MORE
For many, Fourth of July festivities wouldn’t be complete without a baseball game, a family barbecue, and of course, fireworks. But for one family-operated fireworks company in California, its members had an unhappy reunion in court when a great-grandson’s decision to leave the family business exploded into a dazzling dispute over trade secrets.
According to court papers, Manuel de Sousa and his family immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area from Portugal in the early 1900s and set up a fireworks business for local Portuguese community celebrations. Manuel eventually passed the family business to his son Alfred, who then passed it on to his grandson Bob.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we note a case in which mother and son were both accused of misappropriating trade secrets.
Arlene Specter (no, not Arlen Specter) was an insurance agent at First Express Services Group who joined her son Mark’s competing insurance agency, Easter & Associates. First Express sued Ms. Easter and her son in Nebraska state court for, among other things, violating the Nebraska Trade Secrets Act. First Express claimed that Arlene stole a “commission sheet” (basically, a customer list) and that she and her son used it to solicit clients for the family business.
The jury returned a verdict READ MORE