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Trade Secrets

  • Trial of Ex-Coca-Cola Principal Engineer Accused of Espionage and Stealing Trade Secrets Begins.
    The trial of Xiaorang You (aka “Shannon You”)—the principal research engineer accused of stealing trade secrets from several companies, including Coca-Cola—began on April 6, 2021 in the Eastern District of Tennessee at Greeneville. Ms. You was indicted by a grand jury on February 12, 2019 for theft of trade secrets, ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2021-04-16By Nexus U. Sea
  • How to Safeguard AI Technology: Patents versus Trade Secrets
    A common refrain is that an invention is only as valuable as the patent that protects it. But what happens when you cannot secure the patent? This is a frequent hurdle for inventors seeking to patent products utilizing artificial intelligence (AI). While still in its infancy, at least compared to ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2021-02-25By Stan Gibson
  • Court of Appeals Cites “Rule of Reason” Standard for Evaluation of Non-compete Restrictions in Commercial Agreements
    Last year, the California Supreme Court held in Ixchel Pharma, LLC v. Biogen, Inc., that restraints in contracts between businesses should be evaluated using the same “rule of reason” standard that courts use to analyze antitrust violations under the Cartwright Act. Our previous article analyzing the Ixchel decision can be ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2021-02-24By Shawn N. Butte
  • Trade Secrets and the Insider Threat: Protection Beyond the Perimeter
    The managers of most companies tend to see information security as a Lord of the Rings problem, with the focus on protecting the perimeter. This reflects the popular view. Indeed, from reading headlines about hackers, you might think that cybercrime –malign attacks from evil outsiders – represents the most common ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2021-02-24By James Pooley
  • Preliminary Injunction Challenge: Showing Irreparable Harm Even When the Defendant Proactively Takes Steps to Remediate
    A preliminary injunction motion recently filed in the Eastern District of Virginia paints a fascinating story of alleged trade secret theft by a direct competitor in the ultra-competitive field of gas turbines, and the fallout that ensued.  The plaintiff, General Electric Company (“GE”), asks the federal district court to issue ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2021-02-17By Caroline Simons
  • Joint EPO-EUIPO Report Finds SMEs Stand to Benefit Most from IP Ownership
    The latest in a series of reports by the European Patent Office (EPO) and European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) studying IP-intensive industries and their contribution to economic performance and employment in the European Union has found that companies owning at least one patent, registered design or trademark generate higher ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2021-02-10By Eileen McDermott
  • Ninth Circuit Gives Guidance on Specification of Trade Secrets Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act
    Two of the most important issues in trade secret cases involve the timing of when the plaintiff is required to identify its alleged trade secrets and the degree of specificity with which they must be identified. However, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) fails to address either of these issues, ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2021-02-02By Peter J. Toren
  • Pardon Me? Levandowski Case Highlights Need for Proactive Approach to Avoid Trade Secret Problems in Hiring
    My head was turned by the recent news of President Trump’s final-day pardon of Anthony Levandowski, the former head of Google’s self-driving car unit who was recruited into Uber with full knowledge that he had downloaded 14,000 confidential files on his way out, and who was later convicted of trade ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2021-01-28By James Pooley
  • Department of Justice’s ‘China Initiative’: Two Year Recap
    One of the key trade secret trends in 2020 that was not mentioned by James Pooley in his excellent recap of the year’s trends was the continued focus by the government on Chinese economic espionage. Last year marked the two-year anniversary of the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative,” which was ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2021-01-03By Peter J. Toren
  • Take Heed: Lessons from the Top Trade Secret Cases of 2020
    One of the uniquely fascinating aspects of trade secret disputes is that they are laced with unbridled emotions, accusations of treachery, and actors who angrily disagree over basic facts. In other words, they provide a perfect metaphor for the year 2020. Let’s take a look back at the cases this ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-12-20By James Pooley
  • ITC Issues Limited Exclusion Order on Botox Products, Partially Reverses Trade Secret Finding
    In September, the International Trade Commission (ITC) decided to review an initial final determination (FID) in the Matter of “Certain Botulinum Toxin Products, Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same and Certain Products Containing Same,” Investigation No. 337-TA-1145, a complaint filed by Allergan against Botox products made by Daewoong and its ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-12-18By Eileen McDermott
  • Supreme Court Ponders Proper Application of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
    In Van Buren v. United States, argued yesterday, the Supreme Court has a chance to address how the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) applies when a defendant is authorized to access and obtain information from a computer but subsequently uses this information for a purpose that is not permitted. ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-12-02By Peter J. Toren
  • When it Pays to Talk About Your Secrets
    The conversation begins, “Can you keep a secret?” “Yes, of course,” they say. What happens next? Naturally, you tell them what it is that you are going to trust them with. That’s the way it happens in personal relationships. In business, it’s usually more complicated. And it depends a lot ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-11-24By James Pooley
  • FRE 404(b) and Trade Secrets Disputes: To Admit or Deny?
    In a recent decision, an Eastern District of Texas court conducted an analysis under Federal Rule of Evidence Rule 404(b) outside the criminal context to allow evidence of “other acts” in a trade secrets litigation.  The decision appears to be the first application of Rule 404(b) to a trade secrets ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-11-19By Jason K. Yu
  • Profiting off Public Panic – Abbott Laboratories et al v. Brown
    The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rise in fraud by wrongdoers seeking to profit off public panic and strained resources.  One such example is asserted in the lawsuit filed by global health care company Abbott Laboratories (“Abbott”) against its former employee Justin Brown in the United States District Court ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-11-02By D. Julie Lee
  • It’s 10:00 PM: Do You Know Where Your Secrets Are?
    In the wake of urban unrest in the early 1960s, local governments imposed nightly youth curfews, and a Massachusetts legislator suggested that all radio and television stations begin their 10:00 evening programming with an announcement: “It’s 10:00 PM. Do you know where your children are?” The phrase was quickly picked ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-10-28By James Pooley
  • Defending Trade Secrets with Protective Orders
    Plaintiffs in trade secret cases are often faced with the difficulty of protecting their trade secrets, especially during trial, when different rules apply than during the pre-trial proceedings. It certainly makes little sense for a party to seek to prevent a defendant from disclosing their trade secrets only to have ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-10-27By Peter J. Toren
  • A Massive Threat to Innovation Dodged—for Now
    When people think of innovation at this moment, odds are they are thinking about innovation in the biotech and pharmaceutical sector, as the industry scrambles to invent a dependable vaccine for COVID-19, more reliable tests and other treatments. The immediate need for such innovation is real, but the U.S. economy ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-10-13By Tom Giovanetti
  • ITC Decision to Review Final Initial Determination in Botox Case Could Have Big Implications for Trade Secrets
    Last week, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) issued a notice in the Matter of “Certain Botulinum Toxin Products, Processes for Manufacturing or Relating to Same and Certain Products Containing Same,” Investigation No. 337-TA-1145, stating that the ITC has “determined to review in part a final initial determination (FID) ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-09-29By Rebecca Tapscott
  • Gathering Business Data? Be Careful, Mom is Watching – A Comment on Data Scraping and the Compulife Case
    When people say that “data is the new oil,” they’re talking about new ways of creating wealth. No matter what business you’re in, success today depends on learning everything you can about your customers and competitors. And there’s so much information sloshing around the internet, every industry—from restaurants to manufacturers ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-09-20By James Pooley
  • Acer v. Intellisoft Petition Rebukes CAFC for Disrespecting SCOTUS Precedent, Ignoring District Court
    Greenberg Traurig and The Rader Group – which is headed by retired Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Randall Rader - have submitted a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Acer America Corp. asking the Court to review the ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-09-16By Rebecca Tapscott
  • Four Out of Eight Doesn’t Cut It: The IP Safeguards that Most Lawyers Miss When Protecting Software
    Software is an extremely valuable good for those who produce it because it provides value to the software’s end users. That value, however, also makes it a target for those who would prefer to obtain the value without compensating the software producer. As a result, like with any valuable asset, ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-09-03By Marty Mellican
  • Trade Secrets Lessons from Epic Systems v. Tata Consultancy Services
    On August 20, the Seventh Circuit in Epic Systems Corp. v. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd & Tata America Interntional Corp d/b/a/ TCS America No. 1950 (7th Cir. Aug. 20, 2020) upheld an award of damages against Tata for theft of trade secrets relating to Epic’s health care software. After a ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-09-01By Peter J. Toren
  • Don’t Focus on the Fight: When it Comes to Trade Secrets, it’s the Transaction that Counts
    Tuning in to the recent sentencing of Anthony Levandowski for criminal trade secret theft, I was reminded of the wise observation about relationships, that remembering the ending is a way to forget about the beginning. But while that way of thinking can be a salve for the heart, it’s not ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-08-30By James Pooley
  • ITC’s Expansive Reach over Trade Secrets Developed and Misappropriated Abroad
    Trade secret protections are a powerful tool for companies seeking to police international theft of their intellectual property. The United States International Trade Commission (“ITC”) recently re-affirmed this, when Administrative Law Judge Shaw issued a final initial determination in Inv. No. 337-TA-1145 affirming that the ITC has broad subject matter ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-08-25By Johanna Jacob
  • The Interplay of Patents and Trade Secrets in Protecting IP
    Often companies are faced with a dilemma in protecting their IP—should the company disclose its IP to the world and seek a patent that will protect its IP for a set number of years? Or, should the company keep the IP a secret perpetually and protect it through state and ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-08-25By Catherine Y. Lui
  • Tips for Maximizing and Unlocking Additional Revenue Streams During an Economic Downturn
    During periods of economic instability, intellectual property (IP) can be a surprisingly attractive investment vehicle. Product innovation through patent investment can facilitate additional revenue generation through immediate lower-yield returns, as well as longer-term, higher-yield returns. When viewing IP as a true asset, the question for businesses is how to assess ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-08-21By Patrick C. Woolley
  • Eighth Circuit Affirms Holding That Disclosure of Source Code Was Authorized Under the Parties’ Agreement
    On August 14, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part a district court decision in MPAY Inc. v. Erie Custom Computer Applications, Inc, et. al. In particular, the Circuit Court affirmed the district court’s conclusion that MPAY had not shown ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-08-20By Rebecca Tapscott
  • The California Supreme Court Clarifies Section 16600 as Applied to Business Contracts and Holds That an Independently Wrongful Act Is Necessary to Prove Interference With At-Will Contracts
    The most powerful tool capable of invalidating competitive restraints under California law is Business and Professions Code section 16600.  That statute states that “[e]very contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade or business of any kind is to that extent void.”  California courts have ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-08-07By Michael Weil
  • Chinese and Russian Hackers Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Research
    The latest development in the Department of Justice’s “China Initiative” occurred earlier this month, as the DOJ unsealed an 11-count indictment charging two Chinese nationals with stealing hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of “trade secrets, intellectual property, and other valuable business information”— including potential COVID-19 research.  The two Chinese ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-08-04By Glenn Dassoff