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:
- The Trade Secrets Institute is reporting that tablet maker FUHU’s request for a TRO against Toys “R” Us has been denied. FUHU had accused Toys “R” Us of using a marketing agreement to steal FUHU’s trade secrets and marketing concepts when it launched a rival product in September. According to the post, FUHU failed to demonstrate a likelihood of irreparable harm because the information identified by FUHU as trade secrets were considered “general business concepts and broad marketing ideas” that do not fit within the definition of trade secret under New Jersey Law (the NDA between the parties stipulated to New Jersey law).
- The criminal trial against a Michigan couple accused of stealing GM’s trade secrets for a Chinese competitor is now underway, reports Business Week. Shanshan Du, the ex-GM employee, is alleged to have copied the GM’s private information on the motor control of hybrids and provided those documents to her husband, Yu Qin. According to prosecutors, Qin then used the confidential data to seek business ventures or employment GM’s competitors, including the Chinese automaker Chery Automobile Co. GM contends the stolen trade secrets are worth more than $40 million, prosecutors said.
- Todd Sullivan has an update on the ongoing Eaton trade secret case in Mississippi. According to Todd, Eaton has asked the judge who has presided over the dispute and many of the unfavorable rulings to recuse himself. Todd’s post links to Alison Grant of The Plain Dealer who has been following developments in the case closely.
- Behaving badly will get you enjoined, warns Brian Bialas in a post this week for Foley & Hoag’s Massachusetts Noncompete Law Blog. In a recent case in federal court in Massachusetts, Harlan Laboratories v. Campbell, a court enforced a non-compete, reasoning the employee’s misconduct and destruction of evidence justified its enforcement. According to Brian, the employee, Gerald Campbell, downloaded his former employer’s confidential information, accessed it while working for a competitor after being emailed about a market analysis, and then pitched the flashdrive.
- “China Cyber Threat: Huawei and American Policy Toward Chinese Companies” warns The Heritage Foundation. For a rejoinder, see the recent article in Slate, “The Manchurian Network: Don’t believe the U.S. government’s alarming claims that Chinese telecom firm Huawei is a danger to national security.”
- “What the data says about trade secret protection in China” advises China IPR. (Hint: it doesn’t look good).
- Looking for an “Update on Proposed Massachusetts Non-Compete and Trade Secret ‘Reform’ Legislation”? Then check out Ryan Malloy’s post for Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog.
- “Patent v. Trade Secret: Which is better?” weighs the International Technology Law Blog.
- “Microsoft Wants Confidential Docs Sealed For Google Trial” reports Law360.
IP and Technology Posts and Articles of Note:
- The recent outing of two controversial figures, one on Twitter and the other on Reddit, has sparked a debate about the conundrum of what to do about bad actors on the Internet. Two fine posts stand out: “When does community action against an anonymous troll become a lynch mob?” asks Mathew Ingram for Gigaom and “Truth, Lies, and ‘Doxxing’: The Real Moral of the Gawker/Reddit Story,” writes Danah Boyd in an opinion piece for Wired.
Computer Fraud & Abuse Act Cases and Posts:
- Well it looks like the U.S. Supreme Court will have its chance, if it so desires, to resolve the growing conflict between circuit courts over the scope of the CFAA as WEC Carolina has filed a writ of certiorari seeking the Court’s review of the Fourth Circuit’s dismissal of its CFAA claim. As always, Robert Milligan has a thorough post looking at the decision and the odds that the Supreme Court will take the case.
- “How to Preserve Data When You Can’t Trust Your Adversary” recommends Judy Selby, Brian Esser & Joshua Rogfor Law Technology News.
- For tips on “Cloud considerations for E-Discovery” see this post by KL Gates.
Cybersecurity Articles and Posts:
- BYOD: “Bring Your Own Disaster”? posits Brian Bialas for Foley & Hoag’s Massachusetts Noncompete Law Blog.
- Do Lawyers Understand Cloud Computing? asks LegalCurrent. Do you really want me to answer that?
- “As the cloud expands, CSA offers guidance for Security as a Service” advises infosecurity.
News You Can Use:
- “4 Simple Changes to Stop Online Tracking” advises the Electronic Frontier Foundation.