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:
Cybersecurity Posts and Articles:
- Well, it’s official: “U.S. Blames China’s Military Directly for Cyberattacks,” reports The New York Times. Also see “PENTAGON: Chinese Hackers Have Stolen Data From ‘Almost Every Major U.S. Defense Contractor,'” asserts The Business Insider, “Pentagon report says U.S. computer hacking ‘appears to be attributable’ to Chinese government,” reports The Verge and “U.S. Says China’s Government, Military Used Cyberespionage,” reports The Wall Street Journal.
- “A cybersecurity primer for legal departments: Understanding the basic terms and concepts needed to protect your company from cyber attacks” by David Lim for Inside Counsel.
Trade Secret and Non-Compete Posts and Articles:
- Less than two months after its introduction, Texas has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act effective Sept. 1, 2013, reports Orrick’s Trade Secrets Watch Blog. It appears that the version adopted is similar to that proposed by Dallas State Senator John Carona and will include a presumption in favor of granting protective orders to protect trade secrets in litigation, including limiting access to confidential information to attorneys and their experts. (For more on the proposed statute, see my post earlier this year as well as Robert Milligan’s recent post).
- Connecticut is joining the list of states tinkering with their non-compete laws, advises Daniel Schwartz in his Connecticut Employment Law Blog. In “Bill Targets Non-Compete Agreements But Would Also Create New Cause of Action,” Daniel reports that the bill allows “reasonable” non-competes but would permit an aggrieved employee the right to sue if the non-compete was unreasonable or the employee was not provided with at least 10 days to consider the non-compete before signing it.
- “Chinese Couple Sentenced to 3 Years and 1 Year for Theft of GM Hybrid Technology,” advises Todd Sullivan in his Trade Secrets Blog.
- And in another prosecution, “Ex-Frontier Chemist Dodges Prison For Disclosing Recipes,” as Law360 reports that the U.S. District Court for Utah sentenced Prabhu Prasad Mohapatra to time served — three days — and ordered him to pay $3,435 in restitution.
- “Georgia Supreme Court Rejects Independent Claim for Inevitable Disclosure of Trade Secrets,” reports Eric Ostroff in his Trade Secrets Law Blog. Kenneth Vanko has a post on the case as well in his Legal Developoments in Non-Competition Agreements Blog.
- Eric Ostroff also has a fine post entitled “Five Ways to Protect Trade Secrets When an Employee Departs.” If you have not bookmarked Eric’s blog, you should as he is churning out very good content regularly.
- Those in Pennsylvania should be aware of a decision out of the U.S. Eastern District of Pennsylvania reports the Employee Discrimination Reporter. In De Lage Landen v. Thomasian, the District Court refused to enforce a non-compete despite proof that the former employee had breached a non-solicitation provision by approaching a former colleague. The court reasoned that the parties were not sufficient competitors, there was no showing of future harm, money damages were available, and therefore no irreparable harm was present.
- “Fracking and Trade Secrets: An Introduction,” advises Kenneth Vanko in his Legal Developoments in Non-Competition Agreements Blog.
- “Fisher/Unitech (Basically) Loses Non-Compete Fight Against Former Sales Exec,” advises Jonathan Pollard for the non-compete blog.
- “Doctor Non-Solicitation Agreement Not Supported By Legitimate Business Interest,” reports Zach Jackson for Epstein Becker’s Trade Secrets & Noncompete Blog.
- “Employers Slow To Guard Data Amid Social Media, Tech Boom,” bemoans Erin Coe for Law360.
- “Data Security Policies and Procedures Still Lacking,” warns Catherine Dunn for Corporate Counsel.
- In “Unleashing job hoppers could give economy a bounce,” Reynolds Holdings posits in an article for Reuters that releasing unemployed workers from their non-competes might help the economy.
- “China Non-Competes. The Basics Have Become Clearer,” advises Dan Harris in his China Law Blog.
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Posts and Cases:
- “California Federal Court Dismisses Computer Fraud and State Unfair Competition Claims Alleged Against Ex-Employees Accused Of Stealing Computer Source Code,” reports Paul Freehling for Seyfarth Shaw’s Trading Secrets Blog.
- “Programmer Arrested For Cyberattack On Ex-Employer,” reports Law360.
- “Use a Software Bug to Win Video Poker? That’s a Federal Hacking Case,” proclaims Kevin Paulson for Wired.
- “Who’s at Fault for the CFAA Mess? Blame Congress,” sighs Brian Bialas for Foley & Hoag’s Massachusetts Noncompete Law Blog. Sounds good to me.