PJ Kee

PJ Kee

PJ Kee is an Editor and Founder of the Trade Secret Insider and a member of Jones Walker’s Trade Secret and Non-Compete Team. He regularly litigates cases involving trade secret theft, non-competes, computer fraud, conspiracies, and unfair competition, and counsels clients on strategies to protect their trade secrets. Mr. Kee also represents clients in criminal proceedings and litigates complex commercial and employment matters involving various breach-of-contract claims, business torts, invasion of privacy claims, defamation, and wage and hour disputes. He can be reached at pkee@joneswalker.com or 504.582.8230.

 

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Google vs. Uber: Tech Giants Square Off Over Driverless IP

Waymo LLC — formerly Google’s self-driving car program and currently a stand-alone company owned by Google’s parent company — is now in fierce competition with Uber to develop and capitalize on driverless technology. This battle intensified on February 23, 2017, when Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber Technologies, Inc., Ottomotto LLC, and Otto Trucking LLC. Trade Secret Claims. … Continue Reading

Obama Signs Federal Trade Secret Act

Today, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) into law. The DTSA amends the existing Economic Espionage Act that was previously limited to criminal cases on behalf of the Department of Justice. The DTSA now allows companies to pursue trade secret claims in federal court under federal law. A copy of DTSA can be found … Continue Reading

House Passes Federal Trade Secrets Bill

We recently reported that the U.S. Senate passed the Defend Trade Secret Act (“DTSA”), which would create a federal private cause of action for trade secret theft. This week was the U.S. House of Representatives turn. The House overwhelmingly voted to approve the DTSA by a margin of 410-2. The bill is now headed to President Obama, whose administration has indicated strong … Continue Reading

Federal Trade Secrets Bill Passes Senate

On Monday, the Senate unanimously passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) — a bill that would allow companies to pursue trade secret theft through civil litigation in federal court. This long-awaited measure is a major step towards elevating trade secrets to the level of federal protection enjoyed by the other intellectual property, such as patents, … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Highlights Importance of Non-Disclosure Agreements

The Sixth Circuit recently held that an employer’s “playbook” was protected from disclosure and use, even if the business information was not a “trade secret.” (Orthofix, Inc. v. Hunter, No. 15-3216 (Nov. 17, 2015))  Fortunately for Orthofix, its employment agreements included non-disclosure provisions. The Sixth Circuit found that those provisions protected more than just “trade secrets” and that … Continue Reading

The Donald Offers A Lesson To Trade Secret Litigators

This may come as a shock. But Donald Trump has unwittingly offered trade secret litigators a teachable moment. It arose in his recent squabble with fellow presidential hopeful Senator Lindsey Graham. After Trump mocked Senator John McCain for being a POW, Graham told CNN that Trump was “becoming a jackass” and later called Trump “the world’s biggest jackass” … Continue Reading

Time To Review Your Non-Competes

Companies with employees across multiple states face an administrative challenge. How do they ensure that their non-compete programs remain up to date with the various states law requirements for enforcement? Four states have recently passed legislation that reinforces the importance of addressing this question. The highlights below from the changing non-compete landscape should prompt companies to review their … Continue Reading

A Trade Secret Reminder — Take “Reasonable Steps”

The Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe.org) just released a new White Paper, “Reasonable Steps” To Protect Trade Secrets: Leading Practices in an Evolving Legal Landscape. It’s a must read for companies grappling with how best to protect and manage their trade secrets. We have discussed a previous CREATe report that discussed the devastating economic effect that … Continue Reading

Hulk Hogan, Sex Tapes, And The FBI: Lesson Learned

When the celebrity gossip blog Gawker decided to post highlights from a sex tape starring Hulk Hogan, it never thought that decision would lead to suing the FBI. But that’s what happened—and just recently, Gawker prevailed. A federal judge in Florida ordered that the FBI and the Executive Office of United States Attorneys (EOUSA) must respond to Gawker’s FOIA request—even though the agencies argued … Continue Reading

A Look Inside The Sony Hack

Fortune Magazine released its first installment in a three-part story on what it’s calling “The Hack of the Century.” The story on the Sony hack is turning into a cautionary tale on what companies should not do to protect their computer networks. And it’s worth taking the time to read this compelling and in-depth look into what may … Continue Reading

The CFAA Debuts In The Big Leagues

Accessing someone’s computer without authorization is a federal crime under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This past week, several news sources have reported that the FBI and Justice Department are investigating executives of the St. Louis Cardinals for allegedly violating the CFAA by hacking into the Houston Astros’ internal computer network.  It’s suspected that the Cardinals’ front … Continue Reading

Forum Selection Clause Causes Roadblock In Trade Secret Case

The recent decision in Wellogix, Inc. v. SAP America, Inc., No. 14-0741 (S.D. Tex. Nov. 10, 2014), demonstrates that federal courts can rely on contractual forum selection clauses to dismiss or transfer trade secret theft cases. It’s a reminder to weigh how these clauses could impact litigation strategies and to consider the specific language negotiated … Continue Reading

Can You Go Too Far in Protecting Trade Secrets?

This post was originally published as an article in Volume 23 of the Louisiana Employment Law Letter. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans recently held that an employer’s policy for protecting its confidential and proprietary information was unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Specifically, the Fifth Circuit held that a … Continue Reading

CFAA “Clouds” In The Aloha State

The federal district court for Hawaii recently held that assessing a “cloud” computing platform qualifies as assessing a “protected computer” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The holding should not come as a shock. For some, the real shock stems from even arguing that “cloud” computing falls beyond CFAA’s purview. As one blog … Continue Reading

European Union Close To Adopting Trade Secret Directive

The U.S. Senate is not alone when considering whether to federalize trade secret law, as the European Parliament and Council will soon discuss proposed legislation aimed at normalizing trade secret law for EU member states. The European Commission proposed a draft directive to both the Parliament and the Council in November 2013, and now the European Council has … Continue Reading

Thinking Beyond The NDA

Non-Disclosure Agreements are now staples for start-ups seeking funding from third-party investors. But entrepreneurs shouldn’t rely solely on NDAs to protect their nascent trade secrets. You must think beyond the agreement—especially in tech industries where competitive advantages go stale quickly. Two recent blog posts highlight helpful strategies for tech entrepreneurs to begin this process, though in … Continue Reading

Chinese Military Officers Indicted For Economic Espionage And Trade Secret Theft

A federal grand jury in Pennsylvania indicted five Chinese military officers for economic espionage and trade secret theft this morning.  According to the indictment, the five officers engaged in an elaborate conspiracy to hack into the computer networks of five U.S.-based companies, as well as a labor organization, to steal trade secrets and proprietary information … Continue Reading

On The Hill: FBI Offers Tips For Fighting Trade Secret Theft

On May 13, 2014, before a Senate subcommittee, the FBI’s Assistant Director for the Counterintelligence Division testified about the bureau’s efforts to combat economic espionage and trade secret theft—which cause, according to the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, “tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars annually to the American economy.” Fighting economic espionage and trade … Continue Reading

Employers Receive Friendly Computer-Fraud-And-Abuse-Act Ruling From Louisiana Court

The U.S. Eastern District of Louisiana recently sided with employers in the on-going judicial debate over interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). See Associated Pump & Supply Co., LLC v. Dupre, et al., No. 14-0009 (E.D. La.). Associated Pump sued its former employee Kevin Dupre for violating CFAA during his alleged scheme to steal … Continue Reading

Trade Secret Theft Accounts For 1-3% of US GDP—Trade Secret Audits A Must

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and the Center for Responsible Enterprise and Trade (CREATe.org) collaborated to access the economic impact of trade secret theft. Their recently published Report estimates that trade secret theft accounts for nearly 1-3% of the US GDP. This impact highlights that companies should focus on tightening internal safeguards to protect trade secrets information. The Report offers a … Continue Reading

Texas Court Dissolves Injunction Vaguely Defining “Confidential Information”

An employer in Texas did nearly everything right to protect its stolen trade secrets—except adequately specify what the injunction restrained the employee from doing.  The opinion in Lasser v. Amistco Separation Products Inc., No. 01-13-00690 (Tex. App.—Houston Feb. 6, 2014), highlights the need for clearly defining restraints in any injunctive relief sought. Amistco Separation Products, … Continue Reading
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