PJ Kee

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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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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

FDA Spy Games: Employee Monitoring Requires Legal Advice

The Office of Inspector General and a joint staff for two ranking Republican lawmakers recently issued critical reports on the FDA’s 2010-2011 employee monitoring for trade-secret leaks (see OIG and Joint Staff). They criticize the FDA for essentially “spying” on its employees without first assessing whether the computer monitoring may violate federal wiretapping laws and … Continue Reading
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