Trade Secrets Trends

Trade Secrets Trends

Analysis and commentary on the latest developments in trade secrets protection, disputes, and enforcement

Ian Robertson

Subscribe to all posts by Ian Robertson

Facebook Settles $300+ Million Data Center Trade Secrets Case in the Middle of Trial

Posted in U.S. Litigation
On Monday, April 9, Facebook settled a trade secrets case brought against it in California federal court by BladeRoom Group Limited. BladeRoom, a data center construction company, alleged that Facebook had used and divulged its trade secrets, specifically its methodology regarding efficient construction and implementation of pre‑fabricated data centers. BladeRoom had first presented to the social network… Continue Reading

IBM v. Microsoft, Part II: Decision Suggests Diversity Data May Be a Trade Secret

Posted in Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
As first reported in a C&M Trade Secrets Blog Post last week, IBM filed a lawsuit in New York federal district court in early February against Microsoft’s newly hired diversity executive, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre. Ms. McIntyre had been at IBM more than 20 years, finishing her employment as its Chief Diversity Officer. She also signed a one-year non-compete and… Continue Reading

Ex-Employee of IBM Sentenced to Prison for Theft of Source Code

Posted in Criminal Prosecution, Data Protection
On January 18, 2018, a former software developer for IBM Corp. was sentenced to five years in prison after he had pleaded guilty of theft of a trade secret and economic espionage.  As part of his work for IBM, Xu Jiaquiang had access to proprietary source code which facilitates faster computer performance by coordinating work… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects CFAA Appeal by Power Ventures against Facebook

Posted in U.S. Litigation
On October 10, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for writ of certiorari challenging the Ninth Circuit’s holding that Power Ventures, Inc. had violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) by accessing Facebook user accounts. Power provided a platform whereby its members could access their various social media accounts in one place.  Power received… Continue Reading

Trial Experts Must Pick a Lane – Source Code Expert Disqualified for Switching from Neutral Evaluator to Witness in StubHub Trade Secrets Matter

Posted in U.S. Litigation
In the hotly contested case of Calendar Research LLC v. StubHub, Inc. et al., which is venued in the Central District of California, the plaintiff alleges misappropriation of trade secrets. Recently, the federal judge overseeing the litigation ruled that a source code expert, who had served very early in the litigation as a neutral evaluator for… Continue Reading

Can Your Non Compete Agreement Be Invalidated Based on Wage-and-Hour Violations? One Appellate Court Says Yes.

Posted in Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
In addition to federal and state‑specific hurdles facing employers who wish to utilize non‑compete agreements, the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court has provided a warning to employers across the country that those agreements can be stricken for seemingly unrelated employment issues. On September 22, 2017, in the case of SpaceAge Consulting Corp. v. Maria… Continue Reading