Trade Secrets Trends

Analysis and Commentary on the Latest Developments in Trade Secrets Protection, Disputes, and Enforcement

Curvature Inc. brought suit against British contractor Cantel Computer Services LTD (“Cantel”) for breach of contract, unfair and deceptive trade practices, tortious interference, and violations of the North Carolina Trade Secrets Protection Act in North Carolina Business Court, a special forum within North Carolina’s Superior Court that handles cases involving complex and significant issues of corporate and commercial law. Curvature hired Cantel to provide IT services in the United Kingdom, and as part of this…
Huawei Technologies Co., the world’s largest telecommunications company, and CNEX Labs Inc. went to trial this week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas over dueling allegations of trade secret theft relating to semiconductor chip technology behind solid-state drives. Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. et al v. Huang et al, No. 4:17-cv-00893-ALM. The dispute began in 2017 when Huawei sued former employee and CNEX co-founder Yiren Huang, alleging he stole Huawei technology…
On April 1st, 2019, the Greek Law 4605/2019 implementing the Trade Secrets Directive 2016/943 was published in the Official Gazette. This new law creates a framework for the protection of business information and know-how. Before that date, Greek law did not provide for any legal protection against the expropriation or theft of for example software source code, early stage inventions, product prices and customers’ and suppliers’ lists. Under the new Greek law, trade secrets will…
As in most states, the enforceability of restrictive covenants or non-compete clauses in the Fifth Circuit turns primarily on the reasonableness of the restriction’s geographic and temporal scope. Louisiana and Texas have enacted statutes explaining when non-competes may be enforced. But in Mississippi, enforcement is determined entirely by common law, and courts will consider the public interest in addition to the interests of the parties involved. State Law governing restrictive covenants Restrictive covenants in employment…
On Wednesday, May 15th, President Trump declared a national emergency via executive order over threats against American technology. The order authorized Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in consultation with various other agency heads to block transactions involving information or communications technology posing an “unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States.” The Department of Commerce subsequently added Huawei Technologies Company Ltd. (“Huawei”) and 68 of its non-U.S. affiliates to the Bureau of
On May 10, 2019, the Delaware Chancery Court issued an opinion adopting a “narrow approach” in interpreting Section 1030(a)(2)(C) of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Section 1030(a)(2)(C) imposes liability on a person who “intentionally accesses a computer without authorization or exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains… information from any protected computer.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C). Federal courts remain divided on the interpretation of Section 1030(a)(2)(C). For example, the First, Seventh, Fifth, and Eleventh Circuits…
A federal district court in San Jose recently ruled, in WeRide Corp., et al. v. Kun Huang, et al., that employee non-solicitation agreements are “void” under California Business & Professions Code section 16600 because such agreements are an invalid restraint on employment. This is the second federal court opinion this year that has barred enforcement of a post-employment non-solicitation agreement. Click here to read the full version of this alert, authored by Crowell & Moring Partner…
On April 16, 2019, the EU Parliament approved a draft directive for new harmonized rules on the protection of whistleblowers. The Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the Protection of Persons reporting on Breaches of Union Law (the “Whistleblowing Directive”) creates EU-wide minimum standards to protect persons disclosing information to which they are privy in the context of their work and which relates to certain breaches of EU law. These include…
In trade secret misappropriation cases, the scope and sufficiency of the trade secret identification are central issues. And, once resolved, plaintiffs may allege new trade secrets thefts gleaned during fact discovery, which rekindles those issues. Recently, the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois closely scrutinized just such lately raised trade secrets in Motorola Solutions, Inc. v. Hytera Communications Corp. There, after two years in a “hard-fought, contentious case,” with just twelve days left…