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:
- The big news this week was the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s reversal of the $172 million trade secrets verdict in the epic MGA v. Mattel case. The Ninth Circuit concluded that MGA’s trade secret claims did not arise out of the same facts as Mattel’s trade secrets claims and should not have been allowed as compulsory counterclaims. Mattel had argued that those claims were barred by the statute of limitations and the Ninth Circuit apparently agreed by vacating the award; the Ninth Circuit did however allow the $137 million award for attorneys fees incurred by MGA defending against Mattel’s copyright claim to stand. Both Daniel Josh Salinas and Press Millen have posts on the case.
- Massachusetts has introduced a new non-compete bill, according to a recent post by Russell Beck in his Fair Competition Blog. According to Russell, “The new bill – called the “Noncompete Agreement Duration Act” – leaves most noncompete law intact, and, as its name suggests, focuses on the duration of noncompetes (in the employer/employee context).”
- A Kansas City, Missouri federal judge has sentenced the acknowledged thieves of many of Pittsburgh Corning’s trade secrets for cellular glass insulation, reports Todd Sullivan in his Employee Defections & Trade Secrets Blog. Ji Li Huang, 45, was sentenced to 18 months by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes.
- A recent case out of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit highlights the dangers of destroying evidence, reports Kenneth Vanko in a recent post for his Legal Developments in Non-Competition Law Blog. In Hallmark v. Murley, the Eighth Circuit affirmed a jury’s finding that a former employee forfeited her $735,000 severance package after it was instructed it could infer that she had destroyed relevant documents.
- In another recent health care non-compete case, a North Carolina federal court has refused to enforce a non-compete against a physician, reports Jonathan Pollard in the non-compete blog. In Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center, P.A. vs. Maeve O’Connor, M.D., the court apparently voided an apparently overbroad non-compete against the departing physician.
- “Former Bob Evans supplier accusing company of stealing trade secrets” reports Columbus Business First.
- IBM has developed a tool to identify disgruntled employees advises The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Report.
- “What’s New in the World of Non-Competes and Trade Secrets”? Plenty, according to this fine summary by Michael Greco for Fisher & Phillips’ Non-compete & Trade Secrets Blog.
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Posts and Cases:
- “Dealing With Aaron Swartz in the Nixonian Tradition: Overzealous Overcharging Leads to a Tragic Result” laments John Dean for Justia.
- “Law Professor James Grimmelmann Explains How He Probably Violated The Same Laws As Aaron Swartz” notes Mike Masnick for TechDirt.
- “After Aaron: how an antiquated law enables the government’s war on hackers, activists, and you” writes Joshua Kopstein for The Verge.
- “How Computer Hacking Laws Make you a Criminal” explains Paul Wagenseil for Yahoo News.
Cybersecurity Articles and Posts:
- “Senate Democrats Renew Effort To Pass Cybersecurity Legislation” reports Bloomberg/BNA.
- “Hackers in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months” acknowledges The New York Times.
- “Is your Company BYOD or COPE?” asks Benjamin Fink for the Georgia Trade Secret & Non-Compete News Blog.