Category Archives: Trade Secret

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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

Louisiana Legislature Passes Employee “Password Protection Law”

Perhaps the most significant of the employment law bills passed by the Louisiana Legislature this year is the “Personal Online Account Privacy Protection Act” signed into by Governor Jindal on May 23, 2014.  Louisiana is now the 17th state to enact a “password protection law” aimed at protecting an employee’s personal online content included in … Continue Reading

Tips For Protecting Against Unfair Competition From Within

This is Part One in a three-part series on preventing unfair competition and trade secret theft by former employees.   It’s an all too familiar story. A company spends substantial time and money training employees to run and manage a specific business division. The employees receive access to the company’s confidential information—customer contacts, pricing information, … 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

Bring Your Own Device… But Beware

Over the last decade, smart phones, laptops, and tablets have become essential components for a successful business model. Many business leaders correlate increased mobile connectivity with increased productivity. In theory, remote access to company data allows employees to efficiently work anytime, anywhere. “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policies have emerged as one of the most popular options … 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

Trading Cards or Trading Secrets?

Are published baseball card prices protectible as trade secrets? That’s one question raised in a lawsuit recently filed in Seattle, Washington. Beckett Media, LLC, a publisher of pricing and other information on collectibles and specialty products, sued Check Out My, LLC, the owner of COMC.com, which offers consignment services for collectible cards and other memorabilia. … Continue Reading

Beware of Pitfalls When Litigating Trade Secret Cases

Are you confident in your ability to prosecute a trade secret case without losing those “secrets” in the process? The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision should give you pause before answering. The Court’s holding in E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co. v. Kolon Industries, Inc., underscores the significant risks of putting evidence into the … 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

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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