On February 13, 2020 the United States filed a sixteen-count superseding indictment against Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. and several U.S. based subsidiaries (collectively “Huawei”) charging Huawei with racketeering, money laundering, and violating U.S. sanctions against Iran. The new charges, announced by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Justice Department’s Criminal and National Security divisions, and the FBI, are the latest of a number of enforcement actions by the U.S. Government against Huawei, and yet another escalation in the U.S. Government’s quest to prevent Huawei from stealing trade secrets and other sensitive intellectual property from American companies. Continue Reading New Charges Leveled Against Huawei, et al.

Crowell & Moring invites you to attend the third installment of our Trade Secrets Webinar Series: Top 10 Tips for Safeguarding Trade Secrets, taking place on Tuesday, March 10th at 02:00 pm (EDT).

Instituting and maintaining a trade secret protection policy is a challenge. If no policy is yet in place, it may be difficult to decide where to begin. For an existing policy, ensuring its efficacy and adequacy under the law is time-consuming. Regardless of your situation, the solution is to take purposeful and informed action to improve the protection of your highest priority trade secrets.

Join Crowell & Moring attorneys Jim Stronski, Anne Li, and Robert Kornweiss to hear their top 10 tips for safeguarding your company’s trade secrets – a list of concrete actions you can assess, adapt, and implement based on your company’s priorities.

To register, please click here. Continue Reading Please Join Us for the Third Installment of our 2020 Webinar Series: Top 10 Tips for Safeguarding Trade Secrets

Crowell & Moring is a proud sponsor of this year’s AIPLA Trade Secret Law Summit, taking place March 16th – 17th in San Francisco’s South Financial District.

We invite you to join us the evening of March 16th for a cocktail reception at Crowell & Moring’s San Francisco office, starting at 05:00 PM (PST).

Also, please join us for panel discussion on “Other Federal Claims Related to Trade Secret Claims,” led by Crowell & Moring attorneys Mark Klapow and Raija Horstman on March 17th at 9:00 AM (PST).

For more information about the 2020 AIPLA Trade Secret Law Summit and to register, please click here.

Crowell & Moring has released its Regulatory Forecast 2020: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know for the Coming Year, a report that explores the impact of regulatory changes on the technology industry and other sectors, and provides insight into the trends that in-house counsel can expect to face in the coming year.

For 2020, the Forecast highlights the driving forces behind the increased regulatory focus, including access to the data, online platforms, and cutting-edge technologies that define competitive advantage. It explores regulatory trends in antitrust, environment and natural resources, and public affairs.

The cover story, “Antitrust in the Digital Age: How Antitrust Investigations into Big Tech Impact Companies in Every Industry,” discusses why there has been an increase in antitrust investigations and the effort to crack down on potential abuses among large technology companies.

Be sure to read the full report and follow the conversation on social media with #RegulatoryForecast.

The United States has long struggled with intellectual property (IP) theft facilitated or condoned by the Chinese government. Just in the past year, a CNBC CFO survey reports that one in five North American corporations have had their IP stolen by China, and just below one-third of CFOs of North American-based companies on the CNBC Global CFO Council state that Chinese firms have stolen from them during the last decade. This IP theft is very costly. In fact, some sources estimate that the annual cost that international IP theft imposes on the United States exceeds $225 billion in counterfeit goods and could be as elevated as $600 billion.

Chinese entities have been alleged to steal IP from foreign companies using methods such as trading with or forming joint ventures with the companies and then gaining access to their sensitive or proprietary information. Businesses have also willingly allowed Chinese partners to access this information in exchange for accessing China’s immense market. Some examples of alleged Chinese IP theft include a conspiracy to hack into U.S. defense contractors’ computer networks to steal sensitive military data and the fact that the Chinese military has infrastructure that can look suspiciously similar to that used by the United States. In the context of urging NATO allies to ban Chinese 5G equipment, Defense Secretary Mark Esper warned at the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity Summit last September that China is committing “the greatest intellectual property theft in human history.” Continue Reading Is Chinese IP Theft Coming to an End?

Crowell & Moring invites you to attend the second installment of our Trade Secrets Webinar Series: Trade Secrets are Not Intellectual Property – At Least Not in the European Union, taking place on Tuesday, February 11th at 11:00 am (EDT).

How are trade secrets defined in the EU versus in the US?

How do the US and EU judicial bodies differ in their view of trade secrets, and how does that protect, or leave vulnerable, your company’s most valuable information?

How might cross-border (or transnational) companies protect their intellectual property assets and prepare for threats when subject to dual (EU & US) enforcement?

During this webinar, Crowell & Moring attorneys Jan-Diederik Lindemans and Judith Bussé will guide you through the small differences in the language and theory behind the EU Trade Secrets Directive and the US Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), and the important consequences these have on your trade secrets protection and strategy.

To register, please click here. Continue Reading Please Join Us for the Second Installment of our 2020 Webinar Series: Trade Secrets are Not Intellectual Property – At Least Not in the European Union

Crowell & Moring has released Litigation Forecast 2020: What Corporate Counsel Need to Know for the Coming Year. The eighth-annual Forecast provides forward-looking insights from leading Crowell & Moring lawyers to help legal departments anticipate and respond to challenges that might arise in the year ahead.

For 2020, the Forecast focuses on how the digital revolution is giving rise to new litigation risks, and it explores trends in employment non-competes, the future of stare decisis, the role of smartphones in investigations and litigation, and more.

The intellectual property article, “Venue in Patent Cases: The Sea Change Continues” discusses how the Supreme Court’s landmark TC Heartland decision changed the venue calculus for patent plaintiffs and defendants. But two years later, some important issues are still being worked out in the lower courts.

Be sure to follow the conversation on Twitter with #LitigationForecast.

On January 14th, 2020, Crowell & Moring hosted a webinar session discussing blockchain and its implications for trade secret protection, as well as its potential implications on other areas of intellectual property (IP).

Introduced by Crowell & Moring partner Mark Klapow, attorneys Josh Rychlinski and Kayvan Ghaffari explained general principles of trade secret law, general principles of blockchain, and discussed how blockchain could be used to protect trade secrets, as well as other forms of intellectual property.

Below are a few key points participants took away from the discussion:

  • Blockchain offers an immutable record of transactions, which could be particularly useful for transactional history regarding a trade secret. Each transaction contains several pieces of information, including a timestamp, which is important for proving authorship and time of creation.
  • Blockchain’s unique combination of cryptography and hashing, when used on a private blockchain (as opposed to a public blockchain), could be construed as a “reasonable measure” of protecting a trade secret under applicable law. Crowell will continue monitoring the legal wires to see how courts ultimately rule on this issue.
  • Blockchain is decentralized, meaning that there are as many points of failure as there are users of the chain. This is in stark contrast to centralized systems, which often have only a limited amount of failure points, such as a primary server and a backup.
  • Blockchain’s immutability has other relevance in IP, such as in establishing a priority date in a patent context, authorship in a copyright context, or use in commerce in the trademark context.

If you missed the live discussion, you can listen to a recording here.

The Southern District of California recently confirmed that the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”) does not preempt other civil claims to extent they are based on wrongful conduct relating to non-trade secret intellectual property.

The case involves an employee leaving a company and allegedly commercializing its trade secret with a competitor. Defendant Mr. Corey was an original co-founder of Plaintiff Javo – which sold coffee, tea, and botanical extracts. He played a key role in developing Javo’s proprietary process for making extracts. The process involved using a specially made extraction vessel and particular levels of water quality, temperature and pressure. In 2011, as a result of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, Javo terminated Mr. Corey’s employment. Importantly to this case, his employment agreement had included an assignment of all his rights and interests in any trade secrets to Javo.

Mr. Corey went on to work for the Defendant, California Extraction Ventures (“CEV”). Shortly thereafter, Mr. Corey filed patent applications disclosing some of Javo’s allegedly proprietary information, including purported trade secret information, as well as other confidential (but not trade secret) information. Rather than assign the patent applications to Javo, Mr. Corey assigned them to CEV, his new employer. Eventually seven patents issued, and seven additional applications were published. Continue Reading CUTSA Does Not Preempt Contractual Interference Claim Based on Confidential (But Not Trade Secret) Information

Crowell & Moring invites you to attend the first installment of our new Trade Secrets Webinar Series: Protecting Trade Secrets and other Intellectual Property with Blockchain, taking place on Tuesday, January 14th at 2:00 pm (EDT).

Blockchain technology is a powerful tool, outside of just the realm of cryptocurrency, that can be utilized to safely encrypt and thereby protect trade secrets. During this webinar, Crowell & Moring attorneys Mark KlapowJosh Rychlinski, and Kayvan Ghaffari will discuss ways in which your company can implement blockchain technology into its IT systems, and can be used practically and legally to protect trade secrets and other IP rights, giving you back your peace of mind.

We will provide a CLE certificate of attendance and other materials to use in seeking continuing education credits.

To register, please click here. Continue Reading Please Join Us for the First Installment of our 2020 Webinar Series: Protecting Trade Secrets and other Intellectual Property with Blockchain