Here are the noteworthy trade secret, non-compete and cybersecurity stories from the past week:
Noteworthy Trade Secret and Non-Compete Posts and Cases:
  • A Washington federal judge issued a writ of garnishment on behalf of DuPont last week against Kolon Industries Inc., ordering an associated company to become a garnishee following DuPont’s $920 million trade secret verdict against Kolon last fall, Law360 is reporting. A PDF copy of the order can be found below. The parties are waiting on a ruling on DuPont’s motion for permanent injunction from U.S. District Court Judge Robert Payne back in Richmond Virginia. For more on the DuPont v. Kolon case, see my previous posts here and here. 
  • An Illinois court has recently found that breach of an agreement must be material to void a non-compete reports Epstein Becker’s Trade Secrets and Noncompete Blog.  The case, InsureOne Indep. Insur. Agency v. Hallberg, involved the enforcement of a non-compete that accompanied a sale of a business.  For what it is worth, in my experience, courts tend to be less forgiving of a breach by an employer in non-competes involving an employee.
  • Michigan is the latest state to consider scaling back its enforcement of non-competes. Senate Bill 786, which was introduced in late 2011, would require Michigan employer to advise a potential employee of the requirement to sign a non-compete agreement as a condition of employment. This requirement is gaining traction nationally, as New Hampshire recently adopted a similar statute imposing a similar requirement upon its employers, which becomes effective tomorrow. 
  • What are the risks and benefits of suing the company that hires a former employee with a non-compete? The Delaware Non-Compete Blog has a practical post outlining the practical considerations every company should weigh before joining a competitor in a dispute over a covenant not to compete. 
  • For those interested in working through the legal thicket of garden leave provisions — i.e., provisions that pay an employee for a post-employment waiting period so that he/she does not compete — check out the Burr & Forman Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog’s recent post, which provides a good summary of the caselaw construing these provisions.

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Cases and Posts:

  • The Solicitor General has been granted a 30 day extension so he can continue to evaluate whether he wants to appeal from the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision in U.S. v. Nosal, reports Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog.  That decision narrowly applied the CFAA, finding that a violation of a computer use policy was insufficient to trigger that statute.  For more detail, see my earlier post.
  • A New York state court has recently decided to follow Nosal’s holding in a short decision dismissing a CFAA claim, reports Foley & Hoag’s Massachusetts Non-Compete Blog. The opinion MSCI Inc. v. Jacob, 2012 N.Y. Slip. Op. 05107 (N.Y. App. Div., 1st Dep’t June 26, 2012), provides little detail but signals the growing divide over the scope of the CFAA. 
  • Littler’s Unfair Competition & Trade Secrets Counsel Blog has a post about another recent CFAA decision, Del Vecchio v. Amazon, where the plaintiff’s CFAA claim was dismissed because it failed to provide specific facts showing the actual value of the trade secrets at issue or the actual profits lost as a result of the theft.

Cybersecurity Posts and Articles: 

  • The big news this week was the breach of 400,000 Yahoo accounts but The New York Times is reporting that the breach extends beyond Yahoo to Gmail, Hotmail, and AOL Users. 
  • Cybercriminals Sniff Out Vulnerable Firms” advises The Wall Street Journal
  • Forbes’ Andy Greenberg details the plan on “How To Hijack ‘Every iPhone In The World.'”
News You Can Use: 
  • Can this relationship be saved? “He Texts, She Tweets—Are They E-Compatible? Setting Digital Ground Rules to Become E-Compatible With Family and Friends” writes Elizabeth Bernstein in The Wall Street Journal.

 Dupont v Kolon – Writ of Garnishment.pdf (86.82 kb)