Trade Secrets Trends

Trade Secrets Trends

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

Category Archives: Cyberhacking

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Employee Who Stole the Cookie Recipe From the Cookie Jar Fined €1 (Yes, that’s one single Euro)

Posted in Criminal Prosecution, Cyberhacking, EU Regulation
The Criminal Court of Mechelen (Belgium) ruled in favor of Bofin Biscuits against a former production assistant accused of having stolen the assistant director of the cookie baker’s laptop. The laptop allegedly contained the secret recipes of all the cookies produced by Bofin Biscuits. This case is interesting because of the nature of the secrets… Continue Reading

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Calls for Greater Trade Secrets Protection

Posted in Cyberhacking, Legislation & Policy
On Friday, September 9, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce urged the Obama Administration to take more action against the theft of trade secrets and other intellectual property.  The Chamber did so in response to a Request for Information issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), seeking industry input regarding various cybersecurity issues,… Continue Reading

Court Enters World-Wide Permanent Injunction After $940 Million Jury Verdict

Posted in Cyberhacking, U.S. Litigation
Less than two weeks after Indian outsourcing giant Tata Consultancy Services got hit with a $940 million jury verdict, U.S. District Court Judge William Conley of the Western District of Wisconsin has now entered a world-wide permanent injunction against Tata. The jury award and injunctive relief are due to the Court and jury finding that… Continue Reading

$940 Million Jury Verdict in Trade Secret Case, for Now

Posted in Cyberhacking, U.S. Litigation
In an eye popping damages award that appears destined for review, a Wisconsin jury returned a verdict of $940 million against Tata Consultancy Services in a case trade secret misappropriation case brought by competitor Epic Systems. Indian outsourcing behemoth Tata was sued by Epic Systems, a privately held Wisconsin-based medical software company in Wisconsin federal… Continue Reading

Best Practices for Responding to Potential Trade Secret Theft

Posted in Criminal Prosecution, Cyberhacking, Data Protection, U.S. Litigation
Companies sometimes discover warning signs or clear activity of trade secret theft but do not know how to deal with the issue right away.  Whether it is a current employee who remotely accesses company trade secret information while on vacation, or a departing employee who conveniently failed to return a company laptop, that company may… Continue Reading

Keeping Up with Cybercriminals: House Passes Bill to Formally Establish National Computer Forensics Institute

Posted in Criminal Prosecution, Cyberhacking, Data Protection, Legislation & Policy
On Monday November 30, the House demonstrated its resolve to fight high-tech crime such as trade secret theft by passing the Strengthening State and Local Cyber Crime Fighting Act (H.R. 3490). The Act formally establishes the National Computer Forensics Institute, which is located in Hoover, Alabama and has been operating since 2008. Under the Act,… Continue Reading

U.S. and China Agree on Joint Efforts Against Theft of Corporate IP

Posted in Cyberhacking, Data Protection
  This past Friday, President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that the United States and China had reached a “common understanding” to fight state-sponsored, corporate cyber espionage between the countries. During a joint press conference, President Obama said that “neither the U.S. nor the Chinese government will conduct or knowingly support cyber… Continue Reading

Twice Convicted, Twice Reversed: Another Aleynikov Code Theft Conviction Overturned

Posted in Criminal Prosecution, Cyberhacking, U.S. Litigation
Sergey Aleynikov, the ex-Goldman Sachs computer programmer convicted of stealing high-frequency trading source code, has once again succeeded in reversing a criminal conviction related to his infamous code-copying acts. Federal prosecutors had previously charged, tried, and won a conviction of Aleynikov for violations of the federal National Stolen Property Act (NSPA) (18 USC § 2314) and… Continue Reading

Top 10 Trade Secrets Decisions of 2013

Posted in Cyberhacking, Data Protection
With the ability to move large volumes of information electronically very quickly, the threats from cyber intrusions, joint development partners, and rogue employees are more significant every day. Dollars lost due to trade secret theft tally in the tens if not hundreds of millions annually. President Obama in his State of the Union address warned of the… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Affirms Conviction For Theft of Computer Code Under Federal Criminal Trade Secrets Statutes

Posted in Cyberhacking
In United States v. Agrawal, the Second Circuit upheld a jury’s 2010 conviction of a former Société Générale trader under the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) and the National Stolen Property Act (NSPA). The three-judge panel unanimously affirmed the NSPA conviction, but split on whether the EEA conviction could stand in light of the Second Circuit opinion… Continue Reading

Federal Trade Secret Reform Continues With Two New Attempts to Improve Protection

Posted in Cyberhacking, Legislation & Policy
Congress continues to show interest in refining federal trade secret law to meet the challenges of the internet age. Two bills potentially impacting a company’s ability to protect its trade secrets have been introduced. The first, “Aaron’s Law Act of 2013,” seeks to resolve the Circuit split under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)… Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds That Employee’s Misuse of Information on a Computer Server Alone Satisfies Minimum Contacts Test for Personal Jurisdiction in That State

Posted in Cyberhacking, U.S. Litigation
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has given employers more flexibility in pursuing trade secret claims that are based on an employee’s theft of a company’s computer files. In MacDermid, Inc. v. Deiter, No. 11-5388-cv (2d Cir., Dec. 26, 2012), the court found that misappropriation from a computer server located in one state is a sufficient… Continue Reading

California Court Recognizes Narrowly Drawn CFAA Claim Against Traffickers of Access Credentials

Posted in Cyberhacking, Legislation & Policy
In a blow to victims of data theft, the Ninth Circuit in United States v. Nosal held that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) was not an available remedy where the alleged thief had authorized access to the computer system from which data was stolen. The Northern District Court of California’s recent decision in… Continue Reading

DOJ Prosecution of Chinese State-Owned Enterprise for Trade Secrets Theft Offers Lessons for U.S. Businesses

Posted in Cyberhacking, Legislation & Policy, U.S. Litigation
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice has indicted a Chinese state-owned enterprise for violating the Economic Espionage Act, in connection with efforts to acquire manufacturing technology for titanium dioxide, a white pigment commonly used in paint, plastics and paper. The indictment specifically alleges that “the People’s Republic of China (PRC) publicly identified… Continue Reading