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Trade Secrets

  • 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
  • Patents are from Mars, Trade Secrets are From Venus
    Back in ancient times, in this case 1990, John Gray, an obscure “relationship counselor” with a correspondence degree in psychology, was perplexed. The communication problems of the heterosexual couples he worked with were so serious that he couldn’t explain them by individual circumstances. His clients seemed to be talking past ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-07-26By James Pooley
  • This Trade Secret Suit Doesn’t Infringe on Free Speech
    Can defendants use anti-SLAPP statutes to dismiss meritorious trade secrets misappropriation lawsuits?  A recent decision by the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas suggests not. Numerous states have passed some form of anti-SLAPP legislation to prevent parties from using litigation as a tool to silence individuals from exercising their ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-07-25By D. Julie Lee
  • ‘Improper Means’: The Eleventh Circuit’s Very Dubious Trade Secrets Decision in Compulife Software v. Newman (Part II)
    Part 1of this article addressed the Eleventh Circuit’s decision in Compulife Software, Inc. v. Newman, __ F.3d __, 2020 WL 2549505, (11th Cir. May 20, 2020) and the court’s dubious conclusion that information “scraped” from a public website could be a trade secret. In particular, on this issue, the court ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-07-14By Peter J. Toren
  • Artificial Intelligence Can’t Patent Inventions: So What?
    The USPTO’s recent landmark decision (16/524,350) concluding artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be a named patent inventor perhaps sparked fears of super-robots inventing critical technologies that, alas, receive no patent protection. If an AI identifies new, more efficient battery chemicals, will that new battery be unpatentable? If an AI builds chemical ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-07-13By Stephanie Skaff
  • A Dubious Decision: Eleventh Circuit Finds Scraping of Data from a Public Website Can Constitute Theft of Trade Secrets (Part I)
    Much has already been written in a relatively short period of time since the Eleventh Circuit decided Compulife Software, Inc. v. Newman, __ F.3d __, 2020 WL 2549505, (11th Cir. May 20, 2020). However, such commentaries have not addressed whether this decision is legally supportable and whether other circuits should ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-07-03By Peter J. Toren
  • The $740 Million Jury Question: Massive Trade Secrets Award Overturned Because of Erroneous “Improper Means” Instruction
    The right to a jury trial is one of the most important features of modern trade secrets law.  But as a recently issued Order from the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals (“Court of Appeals”) illustrates, the jury trial right is only as good as the jury instructions that execute that ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-06-25By Shawn N. Butte
  • Has China Finally Embraced Robust Trade Secret Protection?
    It happened to Japan in the 1950s. Then it happened to Taiwan, and then Korea. Rapidly-developing countries started out relying on copying foreign technologies to drive their economies. But as growth increased and investments in education led the way to domestic innovation, each country found that a framework of strong ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-06-14By James Pooley
  • Commentary Sheds Light on Appropriate Level of Detail for Plaintiffs in Misappropriation Cases
    This May was the fourth anniversary of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), signed into law by President Obama on May 11, 2016. The DTSA does not preempt state laws and plaintiffs can still bring cases under their state’s trade secrets law, but the DTSA has played a big role ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-06-11By Jason K. Yu
  • WIPO Revises and Expands AI Policy Issues
    The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has published a Revised Issue Paper on Artificial Intelligence and IP Policy. The Revised Issues Paper updates the Draft Issues Paper published in December 2019 with the addition of a glossary and sections on trademarks and trade secrets, and an expansion of the sections ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-06-02By James Nurton
  • To Disclose Or Not to Disclose: Responding to Trade Secrets Misappropriation By an Employee
    An employee comes to you with a recipe for your competitor’s “secret sauce.” You know she worked for your competitor before coming to work for you. How do you respond? It’s an important question, because it may go to the core integrity of your organization and because exploring this trade ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-06-01By Rebecca Edelson
  • If trade secrets misappropriation claims can be brought by non-owners, what should companies do to manage risk?
    Last week, we examined the recent Third Circuit decision in Advanced Fluid Systems, which held that a trade secrets plaintiff did not need to be an owner or a licensee of the alleged trade secrets to bring a state law misappropriation claim under Pennsylvania’s UTSA—all that was required was that ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-05-21By Caroline Simons
  • Trade Secret Litigation Reports: Four Years After the Enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act
    On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into the law the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) which extended the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA), which provides a broad basis for civil federal jurisdiction for the theft of trade secret thefts. Thus, trade secret owners can sue in federal court ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-05-18By Peter J. Toren
  • Spoliation by Self-Driving Startup Leads to Terminating Sanctions
    During the course of a trade secrets litigation, neglecting to preserve electronically stored information (“ESI”) may result in a finding of spoliation. In a recent Order issued by Judge Edward Davila (United States District Court, Northern District of California), two startups in the autonomous vehicle industry, WeRide and AllRide, learned ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-05-15By Shawn Butte
  • Trade Secret Ownership: Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Law
    When a plaintiff asserts claims of trade secret misappropriation, it must own the underlying trade secrets, right? Wrong. According to the Third Circuit’s April 30, 2020 decision in Advanced Fluid Systems, Inc. v. Huber, under state law, the plaintiff only needs to prove lawful possession. In 2009, Advanced Fluid Systems, ... Read More
    Source: OrrickPublished on 2020-05-11By Howard Ullman
  • USTR Special 301 Report and Review of Notorious Markets Highlight Continued Concerns with China
    On April 29, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) released its 2020 Special 301 Report on Intellectual Property Protection and its 2019 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy. The Report identifies countries and IP-related market access barriers and steps necessary to address those barriers. Section I of the ... Read More
    Source: IP Watch DogPublished on 2020-05-04By Rebecca Tapscott