Perhaps the busiest week in recent memory, so let’s get to the highlights:
Trade Secret and Non-Compete cases:
- Parker Poe’s Trade Secret & Unfair Competition Reporter asks whether “Trade Secrets Misappropriation Claims [are] under Attack in North Carolina?” The post discusses a recent case, AECOM Technology Corp. v. Keating, in which North Carolina’s Business Court dismissed a claim because the alleged trade secrets — customer lists, customer contract information, pricing information and product information – were pled too generally to state a claim for misappropriation. The post’s author expresses concern that a trade secret plaintiff in North Carolina will now face the Hobson’s choice of disclosing its trade secrets to survive a motion to dismiss.
- If you are a dog-lover, you will enjoy Kenneth Vanko’s Legal Developments in Non-Competition Agreements post that describes a non-compete case, Western Indus. v. Lessard, out of Pennsylvania that imposed a mandatory injunction requiring the return of a bedbug-detecting beagle that a former employee was trying to sell on eBay.
- Trade secrets and the Internet are back in the news: Russell Beck’s Fair Competition Blog writes about a recent opinion by the Southern District of Ohio, Allure Jewelers, Inc. v. Ulu, that denied a TRO because the plaintiff disclosed its alleged trade secrets on the Internet. For more on protecting trade secrets over the Internet, check out my post last August on the Syncsort v. Innovative Routine decision, as well as the Trading Secrets Blog’s post on the Allure Jewelers case earlier this week.
- Foley & Hoag’s Security Privacy and the Law Blog highlights the emerging split between courts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) over the scope of the phrase “exceeds authorized access,” a key element for a claim under the CFAA.
- Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog also has fine post on one of the CFAA decisions discussed in the post above, Walsh Bishop & Assoc. v. O’Brien. In that case, the Minnesota District Court dismissed the employer’s claim because it found that the employees had authorized access to the information they allegedly stole.
- One more CFAA post to check out, this one noting that “Merger Sabotage [is] Not a Damage Element under Computer Fraud Law.” In that article reprinted in Corporate Counsel, Saranac Hale Spencer details the ruling in Sealord Holdings v. Radler by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania finding that the plaintiff failed to adequately aver specific damages to satisfy the standards under Twombly and Iqbal.
- Whether non-competes can be enforced against lawyers remains a hot topic. For those practicing in Minnesota, check out Marshall H. Tanick and Phillip J. Trobaugh’s article entitled “Non-Competes for Professionals: It is Not for Amateurs” which also addresses Minnesota’s law for non-competes against accountants and doctors.
- The Virginia Non-Compete Blog, whose focus is on the protection of employees, details a recent decision, United Marketing Solutions v. Goldberg, refusing to enforce a non-compete provision against a franchisee because it was overly broad.
- For those in the financial community, Fisher & Phillips’ Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog offers “Protocol for Broker Recruiting: 5 Things to Consider.” For the uninitiated, the Protocol is a voluntary agreement between financial firms designed to manage the transition of brokers and clients between those firms.
- “Europe Inconsistently Protects Trade Secrets,” according to a survey cited by The Chemical Processing website. According to Sarah Turner, counsel at Hogan Lovells and co-author of that survey, “[t]he differences in protection across the EU mean that businesses trading in some parts of Europe are in danger of losing significant revenue to their competitors” because investors may be “more willing to invest in countries where they believe that their secrets are adequately protected from misuse or misappropriation.”
- “Without Chemical Trade Secrets, Innovation in America Could Become a Spy Game” notes the blog American Chemistry Matters. The post also decries a proposed rule by the EPA that would require chemical manufacturers to disclose confidential chemical identities in health and safety studies.
- “Survey Says Canada Tops Mobile Data Loss, 58 Percent of Organizations Lose Data Through Insecure Mobile Devices” says Websense.
- Social hacktivists have got the media’s attention. Holman Jenkins of The Wall Street Journal says “Worry About the Hackers You Don’t See” because social hacktivists’ own tactics have been used against them; meanwhile, The New York Times peers into “The Soul of the New Hacktivist.”
- Has the era of “Bypassing the Password” arrived? According to The New York Times, the Defense Department will be funding a program to develop software that determines, just by the way you type, that you are indeed the person you say you are.
News You Can Use:
- Forbes warns not to ignore that file cabinet in a guest post by Mark Emery entitled “Paper Chase: The Huge Security Risks in Your File Room.”
- “Cisco to Secure Employees’ Devices” according to The New York Times. Seeking to capitalize on the growing “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) to work movement, Cisco will offer a service to interested customers to preserve their security and still allow employees to utilize their own smartphones and other devices.