Here are the past week’s noteworthy posts, as well as one or two that I didn’t include last week:
Trade Secret and Covenant Not to Compete Posts:
- Nixon Peabody is reporting on the latest social media case involving trade secrets, Christou v. Beatport. In that case, the District Court of Colorado found that an employer had adequately asserted a trade secret claim over log-in and contact information relating to a My Space account. Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog also has a post on this case.
- Xiaorong Wang, a former Bridgestone Tires engineer from Hudson, Ohio, has been indicted for allegedly stealing Bridgestone’s trade secrets and giving them to a Chinese polymer maker, Shanghai Frontier Elastomer Co. Wang’s alleged espionage involved burning proprietary information from Bridgestone computers onto six CDs during a five-hour stretch on April 14, 2010, the FBI said in an affidavit.
- Speaking of China, Dan Harris’ China Law Blog has an important analysis of the best way to protect trade secrets in China. Dan’s blog is very highly regarded (a regular member of the ABA’s Blawg 100) so those in the trade secret community should take what he says seriously. According to the post “China Corporate Espionage: The Real Problem and the Real Solution,” Dan acknowledges that “[t]heft of trade secrets is common and is encouraged by government policy.” However, “the actual thefts are done the old-school way: copying done by corporate insiders and trusted employees. Even worse, much of the theft is done based on gifts from the owner of the trade secrets.” As a result, according to Dan, technical efforts to safeguard the trade secrets are doomed to fail and the best solution is a solid written agreement that will be enforced in China.
- Should you make sure that your covenant not to compete includes a provision explicitly tolling the covenant for the period in which it is violated? Epstein Becker’s Trade Secrets & Noncompete Blog says you should in New York and reports on a recent case, Delta Enterprise Corp. v. Cohen, that enforced such a tolling agreement.
- Non-Solicitation Agreements in California remain viable, according to Littler’s Unfair Competition & Trade Secrets Counsel Blog. The post describes the Eastern District of California’s recent decision in Pyro Spectaculars North v. Souza that rejected arguments that would have gutted the enforceability of non-solicitation agreements under California Professions and Business Code 16600.
- Estoppel and claims of moral turpitude were not enough to derail a non-compete in A.R.S. Services v. Baker, as Foley Hoag’s Massachusetts Noncompete Law Blog reports. The employee claimed that the company had engaged in an unsavory business practice but the Superior Court of Middlesex disagreed, characterizing the employee’s claim as simply a business disagreement.
- In the post “Cybersecurity Researchers Team Up to Combat Online Crime,” The New York Times Bits Blog is reporting that a sort of “Justice League for Nerds” has been created to combat cybercrime.
- However, they have their work cut out for them, as the FBI’s top cyber cop, Shawn Henry, has testified that the “U.S. [is] Outgunned in Hacker Wars.” According to the Wall Street Journal, Henry says “[t]oo many companies, from major multinationals to small start-ups, fail to recognize the financial and legal risks they are taking—or the costs they may have already suffered unknowingly—by operating vulnerable networks.”
- “Here’s How Law Enforcement Cracks Your iPhone’s Security Code (Video)” demonstrates Forbes’ Andy Greenberg. Required reading for the parent of every teenager with an iPhone.
News You Can Use:
- Caveat Hoarders! “The Dangers Of A Messy Desk” by Jenna Goudreau of Forbes has instilled in me a resolution to start cleaning my office next week, or perhaps the week after.