Here are the noteworthy trade secret, non-compete and cybersecurity stories from the past week, as well as one or two that I missed over the past couple of weeks:
Trade Secret and Non-Compete Posts and Cases:
- Two amendments to the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) have or will become law this week or next week. As expected, President Obama signed the Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act, which had unanimously passed the Senate and made its way through the House after a 388-4 vote. The Trade Secret Clarification Act has effectively reversed the narrow construction of the EEA by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in U.S. v. Aleynikov. In that heavily-criticized decision, the Second Circuit had limited the application of the EEA’s §1832(a) to products that were sold or intended to be sold into interstate commerce. In addition to now ensuring that trade secrets related to internal products such as software are covered under §1832(a) of the EEA, the Act has also broadened that part of the statute to cover trade secrets for services. Finally, President Obama is expected to sign an amendment enhancing the penalties’ sections of the EEA, increasing, among other things, the potential financial penalty from $500,000 to $5,000,000 for stealing trade secrets for the benefit of a foreign power under §1831(a) and increasing penalties from at least $10,000,000 to perhaps 3 times the value of trade secrets for violations of §1832. For more on the amendments and their potential impact on prosecutions, see Ryan Davis’ article for Law360, “Trade Secrets Cases May Spike After US Strengthens Law.”
- Amazon has lost its effort to enjoin a former employee from working on any cloud computing project for Google, reports Jonathan Pollard in the non-compete blog. According to Jonathan, the Washington state court rejected Amazon ‘s broad injunctive request to bar Daniel Powers from working from Google in a thorough and well-reasoned opinion. The opinion emphasized, among other things, the fact that Powers did not take any documents or files with him, that Amazon had failed to identify its trade secrets with the requisite specificity, and that the request would have amounted to worldwide ban that was not warranted on the facts before the court. For more on the case, see my post about the filing of the complaint here.
- How important is it to have a provision requiring the return of confidential information? Pretty damned important, advises Epstein Becker’s Trade Secrets & Noncompete Blog which details a recent decision, Lincoln Chemical Corp. v. Dubois Chemicals Group, from the Northern District of Indiana that relied on such a provision for an injunction in that trade secrets dispute.
- “United Health Services Wins $6.9 Million Verdict in Non-Compete Claim Against Acadia Healthcare” reports John Paul Nefflen for Burr & Forman’s Non-Compete Trade Secrets Law Blog.
- For those interested in the take of other bloggers on major cases and developments in trade secret and non-compete law in 2012, check out Robert Milligan’s analysis of “Top 10 Developments/Headlines in Trade Secret, Computer Fraud, and Non-Compete Law in 2012” for Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog as well as Kenneth Vanko’s thoughts on “2012: Year-End Review and Top 10 List” for his Legal Developments in Non-Competition Agreements Blog.
- Kenneth also has a post on a recent opinion out of the Second Circuit construing Connecticut’s version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. According to Kenneth, the decision in McDermid, Inc. v. Dieter may prove to be a boon for plaintiffs seeking to protect trade secrets overseas.
- “The Four Keys To China Trade Secret Protection” advises Dan Harris in The China Law Blog.
- “Samsung Loses Bid To Seal Sales Data In Apple IP Dispute” reports Law360.
Cybersecurity Articles and Posts:
- “The White House is Finalizing an Executive Order on Cybersecurity” report Dennis Olle and Padro Pavon of Carlton Fields for JDSupra.
- “Tackling Intellectual Property Issues in the Cloud” advises the bizcloud.
- Looking for tips for “Cyber Security for Smart Phone”? Then check out Peter S. Vogel’s post in his Internet, Information Technology & e-Discovery Blog.
- “Cyberlaw Predictions: Crucial Time at the Federal Trade Commission,” notes Thomas O’Toole for Bloomberg’s e-Commerce and Tech Blog.
News You Can Use:
- Looking for the discipline to keep those New Year’s resolutions? Then consider “How to Train Your Brain to Stay Focused” as advocated by Nadia Goodman for Entrepreneur.