Here are the noteworthy trade secret, non-compete and cybersecurity stories from the past week, as well one or two that I missed over the past couple of weeks:

Noteworthy Trade Secret and Non-Compete Posts and Cases:

  • A Minnesota federal district court has vacated a $630.4 million judgment that had been leveled against disk drive maker Western Digital Corp. after rival Seagate Technologies accused Western Digital of misappropriating Seagate’s confidential information and trade secrets after it hired a former Seagate employee. The court confirmed arbitration awards in five trade secret claims that Western Digital and the former employee prevailed upon at arbitration, but vacated the arbitration award for the three trade secret claims that Seagate won. The court ordered another hearing for those remaining three claims before a new arbitrator. Todd Sullivan has a post on the case as well.
  • Zynga is suing a former General Manager over the alleged theft of its trade secrets. Zynga claims Alan Patmore, who previously worked on Cityville, uploaded a number of company trade secrets to a Dropbox account from his company computer just before his departure from the games maker. The allegedly misappropriated trade secrets included, among other things, information on Zynga’s game mechanics, internal assessments of Cityville’s performance, monetization plans, company emails and design documents (including the final design document for an as yet unreleased game). The case is generating a fair amount of media attention, with All Things Digital’s Trisha Duryee providing fine coverage.
  • Three Kentucky men have been charged by federal prosecutors for allegedly using portable USB drives to steal thousands of files from White Drive Products, a hydraulic motor maker, in 2007 and 2008. A federal grand jury this week indicted Phillip Lee Groves, Gregory Lee Wampler and Eric Dale Tinderholt. Groves and Wampler allegedly stole the trade secret information while employed by White Drive and made a business proposal incorporating those trade secrets to a competitor in connection with a pitch to hire them as a commissioned sales force.
  • For the fifth installment of “How to Protect Your IP from China,” see Dan Harris’ China Law Blog.
  • Dennis Rosen has an an intriguing post about dentists and non-competes for Foley & Hoag’s Massachusetts Noncompete Blog.
  • “Preventing an Employee From Working for a Competitor Unravels without an Enforceable Noncompete Agreement” advises the Michigan Employment Law Blog.
  • Interested in the “Enforceability of Noncompete Agreements Post-Merger”? Then check out this recent post by The Delaware Employment Law Blog.
  • For a nice primer on “Potential Antitrust Implications in Resolving Disputes Over An Employee’s Non-Compete Agreement,” see Devin Dolive’s post for Burr & Forman’s Non-Compete Trade Secrets Blog.
  • Looking for more analysis on the Eagle v. Morgan case, the federal dispute over who owns a social media account, an employer or employee? Then check out Jessica Mendehlson’s post on Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog and Jonanthan Pollard’s post on the non-compete blog.

Cybersecurity Posts and Articles:

  • Orin Kerr and Stewart Baker have dueling posts on The Volokh Conspiracy this past week about the legality of counter-hacking, i.e., hacking the hackers.
  • “Doing the Two-Step, Beyond the A.T.M.” recommends Randall Stross for The New York Times.
  • “Panetta Aims to Get U.S. Businesses More Involved in Cybersecurity” writes Catherine Dunn for Corporate Counsel.
  • “Corporate Attacks Hint Of A Coming ‘Cyber Pearl Harbor'” warns Christopher Helman for Forbes.
  • “Hacking and Reading Someone’s Online Email Just Got Easier in South Carolina” advises Fox Rothschild’s Privacy Compliance & Data Security Blog.
  • “10 steps toward eliminating insider threats” by Paul Kenyon for The Flash in the Pan Blog.

News You Can Use: 

  • “Some Advice From Authors on Avoiding Online Distractions” from The New York Times Bits Blog.