Tag Archives: Trade Secrets

Massachusetts Legislature Passes Comprehensive Noncompetition and Trade-Secrets Reform

noncompetition
The Massachusetts General Court has passed legislation that, if signed by the governor, will comprehensively reform the law governing employee noncompetition agreements and trade-secret misappropriation. If enacted, these laws will become effective October 1, 2018, giving Massachusetts employers only two months to assess their current practices and adapt to the new laws.… Continue reading this entry

Non-Competes Can Cost You More Than A Job

California
Normally in this space we write about case developments after the case is decided.  This time, though the story involves a mid-case development which led to a company firing an employee it fought hard to keep.… Continue reading this entry

What To Do When You Hire A Thief

Trade Secrets
Employers victimized by trade secret misappropriation appropriately express righteous outrage, both at the offending ex-employee and sometimes at the new employer. However, on another day the roles can reverse: That same employer may unwittingly — or worse, intentionally — have hired someone who has stolen trade secrets or confidential information. Failure to take appropriate precautions … Continue reading this entry

No More Second Chances Under Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUSTA)

Plaintiffs now have only one bite-at-the-apple when pursuing claims of misappropriation of confidential information in Texas. 360 Mortg. Grp., LLC v. Homebridge Fin. Servs., Inc., No. A-14-CA-00847-SS, 2016 WL 900577, at *8 (W.D. Tex. Mar. 2, 2016). Tort claims focused on misappropriation of confidential information are preempted under the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUSTA) … Continue reading this entry

Use of Non-Compete Agreements – Too Much of a Good Thing?

In case you missed the trend, several recent actions by the Obama administration have been aimed at enhancing employee rights. This pattern continued last week, when the White House issued a “Call to Action” and a report on Non-Compete Reform: A Policymaker’s Guide to State Policies, expressing concern about overuse of non-compete agreements. Unlike recent … Continue reading this entry

State Attorneys General on the Attack Against Noncompete Overuse

Too much of a good thing can be bad – a maxim that some employers have historically ignored by requiring entire workforces, including rank-and-file employees, to submit to post-employment noncompete obligations as a condition of continuing employment. In recent months, however, state attorneys general, specifically in New York and Illinois, have put significant heat on … Continue reading this entry

Dealing With Trade Secret Thieves: Strategies for Cost-Effective Settlement

Trade secret thieves are almost always an employee or business associate. They are known, generally held the trust of the business, and are perceived as traitors. The urge for retribution against such trade secret thieves can be hard to resist. Retribution often takes the form of aggressive litigation. But if a business brings such litigation … Continue reading this entry

OSHA Update—Tips for Surviving OSHA Inspections—Part III

As we noted in the previous weeks on the Work Knowledge Blog, employers may see a marked increase in OSHA inspections in the coming months due to the agency’s focus on PSM related issues.  This focus includes proposed revisions to OSHA’s appropriations language to allow for PSM audits of small establishments and various contemplated changes … Continue reading this entry

Five Tips for Retaining Employees in a Competitive Business Climate

Workplace Culture
Attracting and retaining employees is always a challenge. After you provide an employee with a good job, training and development, customer contacts, and access to trade secret and other confidential information, it is discouraging, to say the least, when the employee then uses all of that to help another business compete against you. Regardless of … Continue reading this entry

An Employee Stole Your Trade Secrets but You Cannot Prove It. Now What?

Consider the following, relatively uncommon scenario: an employee stole your trade secrets and went to work for a competitor. You know the employee did it, you just cannot prove it. Even with the best forensic analysis it is not always possible to identify, specifically, what an employee took. You need to do something, but what? … Continue reading this entry

Thieves Among Us? Protecting Trade Secrets From Employee Theft

Employee trade secret theft is a serious problem, and getting worse. According to an analysis of federal court cases filed over a 58-year period, 85 percent of trade secret theft was committed by employees or business partners. In addition, the cases doubled from 1988 to 1995 and again from 1995 to 2004, with a trajectory … Continue reading this entry

Trends in Trade Secrets: Legislative Protection Sweeps the Nation

Written by Marilee L. Miller and Ariel Fox Johnson Trade secrets are in the national spotlight—they are the focus of a ready-to-be signed state law, a proposed Senate amendment, and part of the newly updated Patent Act. Historically, trade secrets have been given short shrift, giving legal protection only through a patchwork of common laws … Continue reading this entry

Trade Secret Litigation: It's Getting Criminal

One would think that a civil jury award of $1.3 billion (even one that may be subsequently reduced by a judge to $272 million) would provide sufficient warning to companies about the perils of trade secret litigation. But, as the long-running dispute between SAP AG and Oracle Corporation makes clear, defendants should be concerned not … Continue reading this entry

"Right of Inspection" Provisions - Are You Granting Access to Your Trade Secrets?

In an effort to promote responsible business practices, mass-market retailers often require their suppliers throughout the world to adhere to same ethical and compliance standards that the retailers (and/or U.S. law) demand of themselves. The goals of such standards are no doubt laudable – banning the use of child or forced labor, promoting environmentally responsible … Continue reading this entry

Your Licensee Knows Your Confidential, Proprietary Technology and Just Acquired Your Main Competitor: Can You Sue for Threatened Trade Secret Misappropriation?

A federal court in Washington State issued a ruling last week in Edifecs, Inc. v. Tibco Software, Inc., further limiting grounds for seeking trade secret relief arising out of the acquisition by a licensee of the licensor’s primary competitor. The United States District Court in Seattle dismissed trade secret claims that were based on the … Continue reading this entry