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Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog

Posts tagged Trade Secrets.

Continued misappropriation claims that originate prior to enactment are not permitted under the UTSA but the DTSA is silent on the issue. Nevertheless, a growing body of case law is holding that such continued misappropriation claims are viable under the DTSA pointing out a key difference litigators need to be aware of in the statutes that otherwise share many similarities.

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) allow employers to provide their workforce with notice of the DTSA whistleblower immunities by “cross-referencing a policy document” but the statute gives no guidance on what the “policy document” is to say, how it should be “cross-referenced,” or if the “policy document” should be provided to employees? This post endeavors to provide answers to these questions.

On Feb. 24, 2017, at the University of Denver, come join Fisher Phillips attorneys and a prominent of practitioners and state and federal judges at the first ever conference on the new Defend Trade Secrets Acts (DTSA), which became effective in mid-2016.

When the Defend Trade Secret Act (“DTSA”) was enacted much was written about its unique remedy provision – the ex parte seizure of property. There were numerous questions about how federal courts would interpret and apply the provision. A federal court in California recently gave the first answer.

A recent case from the Colorado Supreme Court underscores the importance of covering all bases in proving that information actually constitutes trade secrets or other confidential information. Litigants who fail to do so risk broad disclosure of their protectable information.

Uber and Yellow Cab fight over whether the latter can obtain information about the former's pick-ups via open records request.

An eternal debate in trade secrets cases is how much exposure the defendant's business personnel can get to the information that their company has allegedly misappropriated.  This fight proved to be the first instance in which the Texas Supreme Court opined on that state's new trade secrets statute.

This week, President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act.  Among its many interesting provisions is a detailed procedure for a party to request, ex parte, the seizure of property in order to "prevent the propagation or dissemination" of the trade secret at issue. Such an order would only be available in "extraordinary circumstances." This could be a very powerful tool in a fight against misappropriation of trade secrets as it could impair the defendant's ability to conduct business.

With the recent passage of the Defense of Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), businesses are welcoming the many benefits the statute brings, including federal jurisdiction, robust equitable relief, and the ability to recover compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorneys’ fees.  However, in the midst of celebrating this new federal cause of action, many employers are overlooking a requirement embedded deep within the statute. 

Trade secret practitioners often find ourselves having to explain what a trade secret is.  The most common example (and one which I frequently use) is the Coca-Cola formula, as it can be easily used to illustrate each of the prongs of the trade secret test.  That example can then dovetail into a description of the Joya Williams case from a decade ago, which is a good example of an effective internal investigation on the part of an employer protecting its trade secrets.

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