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[via Flickr user Glyn Lowe Photoworks]
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, the Institute will:

  • Educate law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges on (i) cyber and electronic crimes; (ii) methods for investigating such crimes, including forensically examining computers and mobile devices; and (iii) prosecutorial and judicial challenges related to such crimes and forensic examinations; and
  • Train law enforcement officers to (i) investigate cyber and electronic crimes; (ii) forensically examine computers and mobile devices; and (iii) respond to network intrusions.

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

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[via Flickr user CDC Global]

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 theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information for commercial advantage.”  President Jinping added that “both governments will not engage in or support online theft of intellectual property.”

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

Earlier this month, the District Court for the Northern District of California addressed the scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”), drawing a firm line between causes of action based on improper access of an employer’s computer, and causes of action based on improper use of the employer’s data.  Because of the narrow view taken within the Ninth Circuit as to the scope of claims properly falling under the CFAA, the district court held that there was no viable claim under the CFAA.

Continue Reading Access v. Use: An Important Distinction in the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

The recent arrests of Chinese nationals for alleged economic espionage are raising eyebrows across American industries, who are rightfully asking how they can protect themselves from becoming the next foreign target. U.S. universities have been key figures in these headlines. The risk of economic espionage is a serious one for higher education because universities are often in the position of balancing open and collaborative research goals with tight government restrictions on data use. But for those universities contracting with the U.S. government, compliance with its information security regulations is often not optional.

Click here to read this full alert on Crowell.com.

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 growing threat from cyber-attacks, especially corporate theft from foreign countries and companies. As a result, trade secrets are an increasingly important form of intellectual property protection. Corporate IP and litigation counsel should also be aware of key case developments in this fast moving area of law. With that in mind, we offer our Top 10 Trade Secret Decisions of 2013 …

Click here to read this full alert on Crowell.com.