Archive | Trade Secrets

Pleading Trade Secret Misappropriation Requires Detail, Even If Not All Support Needed for the Plaintiff to Ultimately Prevail

In Vesta Corp. v. Amdocs Mgmt., No. 3:14-cv-1142-HZ (D. Or. Jan. 13, 2015), the plaintiff survived a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss a claim of alleged trade secret misappropriation.  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant stole its confidential information during a joint development effort, and used that information to develop a competing product. Both the […]

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Trade Secret Protection Requires Steps to Protect Trade Secrets

A defendant who misappropriated a plaintiff’s designs could not be liable for trade secret misappropriation no matter how nefarious the defendant’s conduct, where the plaintiff had not taken reasonable steps to protect prototypes embodying the designs. Accordingly, in Direct Technologies, LLC v. Electronic Arts, Inc., No. SACV 10-1336 AG (PJWx) (C.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2014), […]

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Reasonable Steps Protect Software Trade Secrets

A software owner must take steps to preserve trade secrets in software, but those steps need only be reasonable, rather than including every conceivable action.  That is the lesson from PQ Labs, Inc. v. Qi, No. 12-0450 CW (N.D. Cal., Jan 29, 2014), denying the defendants summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claim brought under the […]

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Jury Award for Software Trade Secrets Theft Affirmed by Fifth Circuit

Wellogix sued Accenture (and other parties) for misappropriating trade secrets related to software that helped manage the process of constructing an oil well. A jury awarded $26.2 million in compensatory damages, and $68.2 million in punitive damages, the punitive award having subsequently been reduced to $18.2 million by a remittitur. On appeal, the Fifth Circuit […]

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When Does Internet Use Create Personal Jurisdiction?

A defendant’s use of computers in Canada to access servers in Connecticut was sufficient to give rise to personal jurisdiction in Connecticut, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has held. MacDermid, Inc. v. Deiter, No. 11-5388-cv (2nd Cir. Dec. 26, 2012). A district court had held that the defendant’s conduct was not covered under Connecticut’s […]

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Patent Applications and Stolen Trade Secrets

The court in VasoNova, Inc. v. Grunwald, No. C 12-02422 WHA (N.D. Cal. Sept. 18, 2012), addressed the classic scenario of a departing employee allegedly stealing trade secrets.  In a not wholly unusual twist, the departing employee, Grunwald, filed patent applications containing the alleged trade secrets.  Grunwald then sold the technology, including the patent applications, […]

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Plaintiff Must Identify Software Trade Secrets

Here is a reminder that plaintiffs have an obligation to identify allegedly stolen trade secrets.  In MSCI, Inc. v. Jacob, 945 N.Y.S.2d 863 (April 20, 2012), a New York state court held that the plaintiffs were required to affirmatively identify features of their software that included trade secrets, rather than simply identify aspects of the […]

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Plaintiff Goes First In Trade Secrets Discovery

A classic tension in trade secrets cases lies between plaintiffs’ reluctance to identify their trade secrets and defendants’ contentions that plaintiffs will tailor their accusations of trade secrets theft to match information produced by the defendants.  Acknowledging this tension, a Nevada magistrate judge has held that a plaintiff had not identified allegedly stolen trade secrets […]

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