Trade Secrets & Transitions

Important Legal News and Analysis on Employee Mobility & Trade Secrets Law

Latest from Trade Secrets & Transitions - Page 2

Well, that didn’t take long! Not even a full year after President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act into law on May 11, 2016, Judge Edward G. Smith of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania entered judgment for plaintiff on the first DTSA claim to be litigated to a jury verdict. To be fair, the case was already in progress when DTSA became law, so plaintiff Dalmatia Import Group,…
You might have heard about “mining for metadata.”  What does it mean?  How is it done?  Should you do it? When the origins of a critical document are at issue, you know to examine that document’s metadata. “Mining for metadata” is something else. It’s the process of using software to systematically search through the metadata embedded in a collection of documents. Since metadata sometimes can determine or affect the outcome of a case, it’s important…
Employees continue to believe that they can outsmart their electronic storage devices and the metadata of the files on those devices – and they continue to be wrong. In Engility Corporation v. Daniels, the trial court entered a preliminary injunction against two former employee-defendants, largely because the court did not believe their assertions that they no longer possessed trade secrets belonging to their former employer, the plaintiff. Click here for the Order Granting Preliminary Injunction…
It should come as little surprise to employers that the New York courts take a skeptical view of non-compete agreements between employers and employees. Consistent with this view, a New York State appellate court recently confirmed what many, including prior authors of this blog, already understood: in New York, any employer who terminates an employee without cause risks losing the ability to enforce a non-compete agreement against the employee. The recent decision, Buchanan Capital Mkts.,…
You hire an independent contractor and include a non-competition clause in the independent contractor agreement. You figure that, even if somehow a court later concludes this person is an employee, at least you still have the protection of the non-compete. So imagine your disappointment when you learn that your contractor actually was your employee and the non-compete clause is unenforceable. That is what happened to an employer in a recent Virginia case, and the trial…
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has promised to introduce a bill that would restrict New York employers’ use of non-compete agreements for certain non-highly-compensated employees. The proposed legislation would (i) ban the use of non-competes for employees who earn less than $900 per week; (ii) require employers to pay additional monetary consideration in exchange for an employee entering into a non-compete agreement; (iii) limit the duration and substantive scope of such agreements; and (iv)…
Last summer, Congress passed and President Obama signed into law the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016 (Public Law No. 114-185), which adds to and amends the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The stated purpose of the amendments to the FOIA is to create a “presumption of openness” limiting the federal government’s discretionary power to withhold requested information only when disclosure would result in “foreseeable harm.” For those that transact business with or even simply communicate…
Although the arrival of the new Administration moots the Obama White House’s recent “State Call to Action on Non-Compete Agreements” addressing that administration’s concerns about non-compete agreements in the workplace, the fact remains that non-competes are governed by state law, and that some of the issues raised in the “State Call” will remain with us. One such issue is the enforcement of non-competes against employees who are terminated without cause. For example, some courts have…
A Chinese tire manufacturer, Sino Legend, was found to have misappropriated trade secrets—in China—from another Chinese company. The International Trade Commission, in turn, banned Sino Legend’s tires from the United States for 10 years. On January 9, 2017 the U.S. Supreme Court denied Sino Legend’s Petition for a Writ of Certiorari on whether the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) had jurisdiction over the misappropriation of trade secrets that were alleged and found to have been…
Non-compete agreements are currently exclusively regulated by a panoply of state laws. Coextensive with recent scrutiny over anti-competitive business practices relating to non-compete use, federal interest in non-compete regulation has heightened, culminating in a White House “Call to Action” urging certain state reforms. While there appears to be room for a limited level of federal regulation, such regulation should focus on bridging the information gap between employers and employees rather than blessing an overtly pro-employer…