Latest Articles

Employees change jobs all the time. There is generally nothing wrong with an employee planning his or her next move while still employed. But when an employee’s plans include gathering up his or her employer’s trade secrets to use at a new place of employment, that calculus changes. Brian Esler discusses the Federal Reserve’s recent action against two bank employees accused of trade secret misappropriation on our blog, Bank Law Monitor. Read it here.
Employees change jobs all the time. There is generally nothing wrong with an employee planning his or her next move while still employed. But when an employee’s plans include gathering up his or her employer’s trade secrets to use at a new place of employment, that calculus changes. An employee who shares his or her current employer’s confidential information with the new employer may be liable for trade secret misappropriation, and the new employer can…
On January 11, the United States Supreme Court announced it accepted the Food Marketing Institute’s cert petition to review the Eighth Circuit’s decision in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, representing the latest development toward resolving a conundrum we have described before—how to protect confidential and trade secret information provided to the government in light of public disclosure laws. This will be an important case for government contractors—and anyone else providing information to…
On January 11, the United States Supreme Court announced it accepted the Food Marketing Institute’s cert petition to review the Eighth Circuit’s decision in Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media. This represents the latest development toward resolving a conundrum we have described here before (October 2018/June 2018)—how to protect confidential and trade secret information provided to the government in light of public disclosure laws. The Freedom of Information Act’s…
As we’ve discussed here before, there is tension and confusion at the intersection of trade secrets law and public contracting/public disclosure law. Contractors dealing with public entities need to be especially alert to the danger of their confidential and trade secret information entering the public domain. That danger was illustrated again by a recent case out of Massachusetts. Although Massachusetts recently adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, it did not do so in…
In a competitive industry trade secrets can be incredibly valuable. As a result, when trade secrets are stolen, litigation is common. Customer information, supply-chain strategies, marketing plans: all of these have been the subject of lawsuits, typically driven by a high-level executive leaving one company and joining another. Will insurance cover these kinds of trade secrets claims? Maybe—and as a result, every business faced with a trade secrets claim should examine their policies to see…
Last month, the Copyright Office’s Review Board denied for the second time the application of the Union des associations européennes de Football (UEFA) for copyright registration in UEFA’s EURO Trophy. The Trophy is shown below: According to the Board, the Trophy’s overall shape is no different than standard Greek amphora, and thus “as a whole, does not rise to the level of creativity required by the Copyright Act” and is only “a de minimis standard…
As contractors well know, most construction workers are entitled to overtime pay when they have to work more than 40 hours a week. However, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, there is a “white collar” exception for certain employees who earn no less than a standard salary threshold and meet other conditions. In May of 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) raised that salary threshold to $47,476, but the rule was later enjoined by…
Anyone with an internet connection can find copyrighted content to download—legally or illegally. But the Ninth Circuit has now held that the mere fact that a rightsholder can show an individual is connected to the IP address through which illegal downloading took place is not enough to make out a case for copyright infringement. In Cobbler Nevada v. Gonzales, plaintiff Cobbler owns the rights to a soon-to-be-released movie, copies of which started illegally becoming…