Trade Secrets Trends

Trade Secrets Trends

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

Category Archives: Non-Competes

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No Soup for You! Panera Sues Papa John’s and Former Exec for Trade Secret Theft

Posted in Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
Last month, Panera, the sandwich company perhaps best known for its “You-Pick-Two”® soup-salad-sandwich offering, brought suit under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) against Michael Nettles, a former Panera executive who left the bread bowl purveyor for employment with Papa Johns. In its suit, Panera alleges that Nettles breached his employment agreement (which specifically identified… Continue Reading

4 Key Takeaways: What the New Federal Trade Secrets Law Means for Your Clients (June 15 Webinar)

Posted in Legislation & Policy, Non-Competes
On June 15, Crowell & Moring hosted a trade secrets webinar, “What the New Federal Trade Secrets Law Means for Your Clients.” The panelists, Mark Klapow, Mark Romeo, Mike Songer, and Vince Galluzzo provided an overview Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), signed by President Obama in May. The panelists also discussed how the courts are… Continue Reading

Beware of a Broad Arbitration Clause

Posted in Legislation & Policy, Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
Tort claims of trade secret theft, fraud, unfair competition, tortious interference with contract, and civil conspiracy can fall within the scope of an overly broad arbitration clause. Medversant Technologies, LLC v Leverage Health Solutions, LLC, et al., 114 F. Supp. 3d 290 (E.D. Pa. 2015). In this case, the district court looked “not to the… Continue Reading

Vroom vroom! Mercedes v Ferrari-bound Engineer

Posted in Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
On December 7, 2015, Mercedes’ suit against Benjamin Hoyle, one of its former engineers who allegedly breached his employment contract and misappropriated confidential, trade secret information, was made public. Since 2012, Hoyle had been a member of Mercedes’ Performance Engineering Department working on the Mercedes’ High Performance Powertrain (HPP) Limited Formula One (F1) racing engines. Last year,… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Data Protection, Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
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… Continue Reading

ProLogic Drops $25M Trade Secrets Lawsuit Against Clients of Crowell & Moring

Posted in Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
Last week, ProLogic, Inc. (ProLogic) voluntarily dismissed — without a settlement — the last of the claims remaining in its lawsuit against Aquarian Systems, Inc. (Aquarian) and two former employees who became employees of Aquarian. A team of Crowell & Moring lawyers successfully represented Aquarian and, after the claims against Aquarian were dismissed by ProLogic in May,… Continue Reading

Conflicting Court Decisions Highlight Difficulty of Prosecuting Foreign Corporations For Economic Espionage and Trade Secrets Theft

Posted in Non-Competes, U.S. Litigation
The Obama administration has made the protection of U.S. intellectual property a priority. But achieving that goal is rife with challenges, including the practical barriers to criminal prosecution of foreign corporations for economic espionage and trade secrets theft. Among those barriers is Rule 4 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which specifies how jurisdiction over a… Continue Reading

District Court Carves Out “Trade Secret Exception” to California Ban on Enforcement of Non-Compete Agreements

Posted in Non-Competes
It is common knowledge that California is somewhat of an outlier when it comes to trying to enforce contracts which prohibit employees from competing with their former employer. The recent federal decision in Richmond Technologies, Inc. v. Aumtech Business Solutions, et al., No. 11-CV-02460-LHK, 2011 WL 2607158 (N.D. Cal. July 1, 2011), now provides an argument… Continue Reading

Trade Secret Misappropriation and Non-Competes Across (California) State Lines: What Law Governs?

Posted in Non-Competes
Choice of law issues permeate trade secret and non-compete cases because employers are nationwide and, employees themselves are extraordinarily mobile. Many decisions begin with a discussion of relevant choice of law issues, but often avoid deciding them by finding that the result would be the same under any of the applicable state laws, which are… Continue Reading