Recent Blog Posts
- Long Strange Trip Through Court System Continues in Goldman Code Theft Case In an order dated April 20, 2017, New York’s Court of Appeals agreed to hear Sergey Aleynikov’s appeal of his conviction under an arcane New York criminal statute.
Aleynikov is a former Goldman Sachs computer programmer, arrested in July 2009 and accused of stealing computer source code from the bank. Originally, a federal jury found him guilty of violating both the National Stolen Property Act and the Economic Espionage Act, but that verdict was overturned by the Second Circuit in April 2012... More
- Court’s Newest Member Has Trade Secret Protecting Track Record Before the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) became federal law in the spring of 2016, Supreme Court watchers would likely care little about prospective justices’ approach to trade secrets matters. Such matters were the province of state law, and the phrase “trade secret” might be avoided, even in passing, in the opinions of the Supreme Court for entire terms or more. But with DTSA cases being reported with increasing regularity, differences in interpretation are beginning to emerge. Supreme Court attention... More
- Which States Are Likely to Enact Laws Restricting Non-Compete Agreements in 2017? In 2016, several states enacted laws that were designed, in varying degrees, to limit non-competes, including Illinois, Utah, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Which states are most likely to do the same in 2017?
Idaho: A bill proposed in January, House Bill 61, would amend an existing Idaho law that has made it easier for employers to enforce non-competes against the highest paid 5% of their employees and independent contractors. The bill would alleviate the burden placed on such “key” personnel by... More
- Even If a Trial Court Denies Your Injunction, If Your Request Is Well-Founded, Consider an Immediate Appeal In non-compete matters, it is often said that trial judges dislike enjoining individuals and will go out of their way to avoid doing so. A recent decision by the Florida Court of Appeals, Allied Universal Corporation v. Jeffrey B. Given, may be a good example of such a situation – as well as an example of an employer that took an immediate appeal and got the relief it wanted.
In Allied Universal, the trial court denied a motion for a preliminary... More
- Recent Federal Decisions Confirm That DTSA Claims Must Follow Longstanding Pleading Standards
As the law’s first anniversary approaches, federal courts continue to adjudicate claims arising under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”). Enacted on May 11, 2016, DTSA provides the first private federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, allowing parties to sue in federal court for trade secret misappropriation. Although the law is in its infancy, employers and legal practitioners filing complaints that assert DTSA claims must nevertheless adhere to longstanding rules of pleading set forth by the Supreme Court... More
- A Temporal Limitation on the Reach of DTSA Claims As we have written about and discussed extensively on this blog over the past year, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) – enacted on May 11, 2016 – provides the first private federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation, allowing parties to sue in federal court for trade secret misappropriation regardless of the dollar value of the trade secrets at issue. Given that the law is less than a year old, federal courts seeing DTSA cases for the first... More
- Lack of Actual Knowledge of The Existence of a Non-Compete Defeats Tortious Interference Claim
In Acclaim Systems, Inc. v. Infosys, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently rejected a claim for tortious interference with a non-compete, because the plaintiff introduced no evidence of actual knowledge that the individuals in question were covered by non-competes.
Infosys, an IT services company, bid on a job from Time Warner Cable (“TWC”) that had been serviced by a competitor, Acclaim. TWC decided to transfer the project over to Infosys, but wanted Infosys to hire four contractors... More
- No Insurance Coverage In Trade Secrets Lawsuit Insurance coverage is not something which comes to mind when thinking about trade secret misappropriation. In fact, since this blog was started in 2009, I cannot recall a single post about an insurance coverage issue.
That being said, one of the first things prudent defense counsel will do when a client is sued for alleged trade secret misappropriation is to instruct their client to notify their insurance carrier and inquire as to whether there is coverage for some or all of... More
- Trade Secret Preemption: A Possible Defense To A Trade Secrets Claim? Two recent decisions by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals clarify the intersection between federal copyright law and state trade secret law. In GlobeRanger Corp. v. Software AG United States of America, Inc., 836 F.3d 477 (5th Cir. Sep. 7, 2016), the Fifth Circuit rejected an appeal in which the defendant argued that a plaintiff’s trade secret misappropriation claim was preempted by federal copyright law. Just four months later, in Ultraflo Corp. v. Pelican Tank Parts, Inc., No. 15-20084, 2017... More
- Key Trade Secret and Non-Compete Developments in 2016 – Employment Law This Week The year-end episode of Employment Law This Week looks back at the biggest employment, workforce, and management issues in 2016.
Our colleague Jonathan Shapiro discusses the impact of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)—which opened federal courts to trade secrets claims, regardless of the dollar value—and the White House’s call to action encouraging states to ban non-compete agreements in some circumstances.
Watch the segment below and read Epstein Becker Green’s recent Take 5 newsletter, “Top Five Employment, Labor & Workforce Management Issues of 2016.”