Category Archives: Trade Secret

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New Types of Section 337 Investigations at the International Trade Commission

Most Section 337 investigations allege violations of intellectual property (“IP”) based rights involving patent, registered trademark, or registered copyright infringement (“statutory IP claims”). In such cases, the complainant must establish that a valid and enforceable U.S. patent, trademark, or copyright is being infringed by the importation into the U.S., the sale for importation, or the … Continue reading this entry

Pleading a Claim for Misappropriation of Trade Secrets in California: A Problem of Particularity

Recent decisions in California raised the question of whether a party asserting a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets must, in its pleadings, define the trade secrets at issue with particularity.[1]  The cases variously involved claims of misappropriation under both federal and state law: the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)[2] and the California Uniform Trade … Continue reading this entry

Pssst, The Secret Is Knowing What You Can’t Do With The Defend Trade Secrets Act

The Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) became law with President Obama’s signature on May 11, 2016. The DTSA is an amendment to the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 and, for the first time, affords a federal private right of action to protect trade secrets. Prior to its passage trade secret protection was the exclusive province … Continue reading this entry

Trade Secret vs. Patent Protection: Consider FOIA or Public Records Requests

With patents coming under increasing scrutiny at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) in conjunction with changes to the patent laws brought about by the America Invents Act (“AIA”), more companies are considering whether to preserve their methods as trade secrets rather than seek patent protection. A recent decision of the Wyoming Supreme Court … Continue reading this entry

Responding to Unsolicited Ideas While Avoiding Claims of IP Theft

A company’s receipt of unsolicited ideas for new products or product modifications can create significant risks. The receiving company may have similar products or improvements under development or may undertake these efforts in the future without any actual knowledge that the unsolicited idea was sent or received. In such a situation, the receiving company going … Continue reading this entry

Triaging Trade Secret Theft

As the size, complexity, and interconnectedness of modern companies’ IT infrastructures has increased, so too has the risk of corporate espionage and cyber attacks targeting companies’ intellectual property. In-house and outside counsel must be ready to deal with the risk that their clients’ confidential information will be stolen, potentially undermining the company’s trade secret assets. … Continue reading this entry

Failure to Adhere to Terms of a Non-Disclosure Agreement Can Cause Significant Loss of Rights

A recent decision of the Federal Circuit in Convolve, Inc. v. Compaq Computer Corp., No. 2012-1074, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 13612 (Fed. Cir. July 1, 2013), highlights the need to monitor compliance with non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). Trade secret cases often involve parties whose attempted joint venture or joint development never came to fruition.  These cases … Continue reading this entry