Here are some noteworthy posts and articles that I came across over the past week:
Trade Secrets and Non-Competes:
According to the Virginia Non-Compete Law Blog, Virginia’s House of Representatives is considering House Bill 1187 which would ban all non-competes, except those accompanying the sale of a business or a partnership. It will be interesting to see how far that bill gets.
Corporate Counsel’s Jan Wolfe does a nice summary “Rounding up the 10 Biggest IP Litigation Wins of 2011.” Two of the ten are trade secret cases (DuPont v. Kolon and Mattel v. MGA).
Paige Mills, an IP lawyer in Nashville, Tennessee, recently launched a blog which focuses primarily on copyright, trade secret and trademark issues. A recent post entitled “15 provisions that should be in your employment agreement if you want to protect your trade secrets” provides a thorough list of provisions to consider in a non-compete agreement. It is hard to argue with most of her suggestions, which are excellent (the lone recommendation with which I disagree is Paige’s suggestion of a mandatory arbitration provision; I abhor arbitration, and have advocated all IP or trade secret disputes be specifically carved out). Welcome to the blogosphere Paige and keep up the good work!
A former Sanofi-Aventis chemist, Yuan Li, recently pleaded guilty to trade secret theft in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey. Li, who is a Chinese national, admitted that between October 2008 and June 2011, she accessed a Sanofi database and downloaded trade secrets arising from more than 6,000 compounds and chemical structures. She will be sentenced in April.
Littler’s Unfair Competition & Trade Secrets Counsel Blog has a post detailing a recent case out of the Western District of Pennsylvania that imposed sanctions against the plaintiff for bringing a bad faith claim under the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act. According to the post, the district court applied a two-pronged test that analyzed whether the claims were objectively specious and whether there was evidence of subjective bad intent.
Foley Hoag’s Security, Privacy and the Law Blog has a post about the recent sentencing of an Atlanta, Georgia man, Eric McNeal, to 13 months in prison for unlawfully accessing a computer of a competing medical practice and taking patients’ personal information. McNeal accessed these files so he could send marketing materials to patients for another practice. This post highlights some of the unique security risks posed in the healthcare space.
The Wall Street Journal had an interesting (and disturbing) article this week entitled “Hackers-for-Hire are Easy to Find” which described the ease in which someone can hire a hacker to torment a rival, or in this case, a billionaire Kuwaiti brother. Computer forensic specialists say some hackers-for-hire openly market themselves online. The billionaire in this case apparently hired several Chinese hackers for $400.
Check out this interesting article by Gerry Silver, a litigator with Chadbourne & Parke, entitled “5 Key Considerations When Litigating Cloud Computing Disputes.” It provides a good checklist of things to consider if you find yourself suing a client’s cloud storage provider.
In a guest post for Forbes entitled “2012 Data Security Trends: A Look At The Risks Ahead,” Erin Nealy Cox, a Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel for the digital management firm Stroz Friedberg, outlines the risks for the coming year. Smartphones remain a key entry point and expect increased attacks in the healthcare sector.
News You Can Use:
Is your client thinking of doing business in China? Here is a sobering link from the Foreign Enterpreneurs in China Blog entitled “A China Joint Venture Survival Guide. 22 Facts and 22 Practical Tips.” I wonder what a blog post on doing business in the U.S. would look like?
The New York Times had a fascinating but depressing article earlier this week detailing “How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work.” It wasn’t wages. Rather, for Steve Jobs’ successor, Timothy Cook, the focus on Asia came down to two things: Factories in Asia “can scale up and down faster” and “Asian supply chains have surpassed what’s in the U.S.” Apple concluded that the U.S. “can’t compete at this point.”
Finally, for those feeling challenged by distractions, Tony Schwartz of the Harvard Business Review’s Blog Network advocates “‘No’ is the New ‘Yes’: 4 Practices to Reprioritize Your Life.” The best advice? Take on the most important tasks first thing in the morning (good advice, which I have already failed to heed today).