Here are the noteworthy posts, articles and cases of the past week:

Trade Secret and Non-Compete Cases and Posts:

  • Automobile dealers from around the U.S. have sued India-based truck manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra, Ltd. and its U.S. affiliate for trade secret theft and fraud. The lawsuit alleges that Mahindra defrauded hundreds of U.S. auto dealers and walked away with more than $60 million in cash and trade secrets. “Mahindra told the dealers that its light trucks and SUVs were ready for delivery to the US market,” said the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Michael Diaz. Diaz also says that Mahindra intentionally delayed certification of its vehicles after it obtained the dealerships’ fees and trade secrets, and that it then began pursuing other partners in the U.S. and elsewhere in violation of its commitments.
  • Kenneth Vanko asks “What is in John Kanas’ Wallet?” after the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia enforced Capital One’s non-compete against the senior executive restricting him from working in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. According to Kenneth, the court was persuaded by Capital One’s emphasis on the sophistication of the parties and the significant compensation provided to Kanas in deciding to enforce the agreement.
  • Last Friday, the Delaware Supreme Court rejected Martin Marietta’s expedited appeal from Judge Leo Striner’s 130+ page opinion barrring Martin Marietta from its hostile bid for Vulcan Materials because of its breach of the parties’ non-disclosure agreements. The short order indicated that a more comprehensive opinion would be forthcoming. For more, see my earlier posts here and here
  • CBS and ABC continue to brawl over ABC’s “Glass House” show. The Hollywood Reporter has a breathless summary of the latest discovery and motion practice in that trade secrets and copyright dispute.  (For more on the complaint, see my earlier post).
  • A Chinese scientist employed by one of that country’s primary pharmaceutical research firms was found guilty of stealing and selling medical compounds owned by Merck, according to The Wall Street Journal. The court sentenced the junior scientist, Wang Hu, to the equivalent of 18 months probation and ordered him to pay $7,000 in restitution.
  • The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that hedge fund Citadel LLC is arguing its diminished profits in the division weakened by departures to rival Jump Trading are proof that its trade secrets were stolen. In an article entitled “Citadel Says Other Firm’s Profit Shows Strategy Theft,” Citadel has claimed that if a rival were to copy even part of its trading model, Citadel could lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
  • “Trade Secret Theft: Businesses Need To Beware And Prepare” advises Pamela Passman, the CEO and Founder of CREATe, for Forbes. 
  • Frith & Ellerman’s Virginia Non-Compete Blog has a “Podcast: Non-Compete Agreements for Virginia Doctors.” 
  • Sound advice from Susan Stobbart Shapiro who recommends “Non-Competes: Get More by Asking for Less.”
  • Strasburger’s Noncompete Blog also provides some good advice on the importance of including geographical limitations in the post “Noncompete Lessons from Late Night TV: Does Geography Matter?”
  • Not to be outdone, Fisher & Philips Noncompete and Trade Secrets Blog has a practical post for small businesses, “Eight Reasons Small Businesses Should Use Non-Competes.” 
  • “APIs, Trade Secrets and Law Suits: one of these things is best avoided” notes the software blog The Issues List.

Cybersecurity Posts and Articles: 

  • The big news was yesterday’s revelation that a Russian hacker had stolen 6 million passwords for LinkedIn accounts. In an article, “That Was Fast: Criminals Exploit LinkedIn Breach For Phishing Attacks,” The New York Times Bits Blog reports that spearphishing attacks were launched shortly after the hacking was reported, using malware to cause even more problems.
  • “Should a Corporation Report the Risks of a ‘Cyber Theft’?” wonders Peter Toren.
  • “FBI Issues New Warning on Social Networking Risks” advises Baker & Hostetler’s Data Privacy Monitor Blog.
  • Judge sentences Cybercriminals to Jail and Orders $39.1 Million in Restitution” reports Peter Vogel’s Internet, Information Technology & e-Discovery Blog.
  • “Secret memo warns of Canadian cyber threat after Nortel attack” proclaims The Financial Post’s Tech Desk.
  • Finally, “Google Starts Showing Users Alerts For Accounts Hacked By ‘State-Sponsored Attackers'” according to Forbes’ Andy Greenberg. Just let that headline sink in. Wow.

News You Can Use: 

  • “32 Innovations That Could Change Your Tomorrow” announces The New York Times. Say “hello” to the The Shutup Gun.