AKRON, Ohio — In affirming in part and denying in part a state court’s judgment in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, a divided Ohio appellate panel on June 20 overruled seven assignments of error brought by a defendant, determining that the trial court did not err in denying the defendant’s post-trial motions for directed verdict or judgment notwithstanding the verdict on a lighting sales agency’s claims against the defendant for tortious interference, trade secret misappropriation and civil conspiracy (Phoenix Lighting Group LLC, et al. v. Genlyte Thomas Group LLC, No. 28082, Ohio App., 9th Dist., 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 2588).
LOS ANGELES — In an unpublished opinion, a California appellate panel on May 30 remanded a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit to the trial court to amend its judgment to allocate a damages award against a former employee of an aircraft parts sales and consignment company and two of its competitors, ruling that the trial court’s allocation of damages among the defendants was not consistent with a special verdict issued (Ansett Aircraft Spares & Services Inc. v. Tessie Cue, et al., No. B272100, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 2, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3686).
SAN FRANCISCO — A data analytics company and its subsidiaries sued its former business partner and its subsidiaries in California federal court on June 19, alleging that the business partner stole the company’s trade secrets during a joint venture between the companies and used the information to develop its own competing software (Teradata Corp., et al. v. SAP SE, et al., No. 18-3670, N.D. Calif.).
LAS VEGAS — A former employee of Tesla Inc. wrote computer code that allowed him to hack into the company’s computer system and steal confidential and trade secret information in violation of state and federal trade secret misappropriation laws, Tesla alleges in a June 20 complaint filed in Nevada federal court (Tesla Inc. v. Martin Tripp, No. 18-1088, D. Nev.).
CONCORD, N.H. — The New Hampshire Supreme Court on June 8 affirmed a series of rulings by a state trial court in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit against a former employee of a medical device manufacturer, ruling that the trial court properly determined that the company sufficiently identified its trade secrets prior to discovery and that the court did not erroneously shift the company’s burden of proof at trial to the defendants in the action (Vention Medical Advanced Components Inc. v. Nikolaos D. Pappas, et al., No. 2016-0696, N.H. Sup., 2018 N.H. LEXIS 51).
AUSTIN, Texas — A buffet franchisee that was accused by the franchisor of stealing confidential information was not the “prevailing party” following voluntary dismissal of the claims and, even if it were, is not entitled to attorney fees and costs, a Texas federal magistrate judge ruled June 15 (Stockade Companies, LLC v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-CV-143-RP, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100535).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A man accused of misappropriating and converting more than $11 billion in assets of a deceased bitcoin miner filed a motion to dismiss in Florida federal court June 15, asserting a lack of jurisdiction and claim preclusion due to Australian judgments in his favor (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).
DENVER — A live-music and entertainment company cannot seek damages against its former employee for violation of Colorado’s trade secret statute because, although it has shown that the former employee possessed the company’s trade secret information and obtained it by improper means, it has failed to plead actual misappropriation, a federal magistrate judge in Colorado ruled June 14 in recommending that the defendant’s motion to dismiss be granted in part and denied in part (KAABOOWorks Services LLC v. Brian Pilsl, No. 17-2530, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99931).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal grand jury on June 14 indicted six former employees of a wearable electronic device manufacturer of trade secrets theft in California federal court on charges that the former employees stole the company’s trade secrets prior to accepting employment with competitor Fitbit Inc. (United States of America v. Katherine Mogal, et al., No. 18-cr-0259, N.D. Calif.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 13 ruled that an architect and his firm have not shown that they have standing to bring claims for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in a trade secret misappropriation and RICO lawsuit by failing to provide sufficient evidence that they were victims of any predicate act (Eli Attia, et al. v. Google LLC, et al., No. 17-6037, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99400).
TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on June 12 ruled that a drug company failed to cure key pleading deficiencies that led to dismissal of its complaint for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract against a former employee and others (Oakwood Laboratories LLC v. Bagavathikanun Thanoo, et al., No. 17-5090, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98257).
RICHMOND, Va. — A permanent injunction is necessary because it will prevent a door skin manufacturer’s competitor that was found guilty of violating state and federal trade secret laws from continuing to harm the manufacturer’s business by unfairly competing with it in the door skin industry, the manufacturer argues in a June 1 motion filed in Virginia federal court (Steves & Sons Inc. v. JELD-WEN Inc., No. 16-0545, E.D. Va.).
RICHMOND, Va. — Discovery sanctions in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit are not warranted because a door skin manufacturer failed to show that its competitor violated any discovery orders requiring it to state with the requisite specificity what trade secrets it sought to present as part of its counterclaims for state and federal trade secret violations, a federal judge in Virginia ruled June 11 (Steves & Sons Inc. v. JELD-WEN Inc., No. 16-0545, E.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98533).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on May 23 ruled that a company has failed to plead the necessary causation or damages required to state claims for breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation against Pepsico Inc. and several of its affiliates (collectively, Pepsi) for their alleged misappropriation of the company’s aroma release technology in developing their own in-house technology (ScentSational Technologies LLC v. Pepsico Inc., et al., No. 13-8645, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91180).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled June 8 that it lacks jurisdiction over an appeal of a denial of a temporary restraining order (TRO) in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit because a company failed to show that it faced “irretrievable harms” if a TRO was not granted (FCA US LLC v. Patrea Bullock, No. 18-1241, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 15482).
CINCINNATI — Finding that a trade secrets plaintiff repeatedly failed to “play by the rules” of discovery, despite multiple judicial orders and warnings, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 1 affirmed a trial court’s discovery sanctions in the form of attorney fees awards and dismissal of the lawsuit (ECIMOS LLC, et al. v. Nortek Global HVAC LLC, et al., No. 17-6067, 17-6123, 17-6124 and 17-6125, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14940).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on June 7 ruled that a technology and telecommunications company’s failure to mark its customer list as confidential as required under the terms of the company’s information security policies bars it from claiming that a former employee had any duty to protect the confidentiality of the list under federal law (Call One Inc. v. Lori Beth Anzine, No. 18-124, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96169).
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Records containing trade secrets are not categorically excluded from public disclosure under Washington’s Public Records Act (PRA), and a state superior court erred in applying the state’s general injunction standard and not the PRA’s “more stringent standard,” a divided Washington Supreme Court ruled May 31 in reversing and remanding (Lyft Inc. et al. v. Seattle, et al., No. 94026-6, Wash. Sup., 2018 Wash. LEXIS 350).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on June 4 dismissed a company’s state and federal trade secret law claims, ruling that it failed to show that its former employee and his current employer improperly acquired or used the company’s confidential or proprietary information in an effort to compete with it in the packaging industry (Industrial Packaging Supplies Inc. v. Matthew Channell, et al., No. 18-0165, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93598).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In a May 31 post-verdict motion, BladeRoom Group Limited (BRG) asked a federal judge in California to award it $60 million in exemplary damages, as well as attorney fees and costs and prejudgment interest after a jury found that Emerson Electric Co. willfully and maliciously breached the terms of a confidentiality agreement between the parties by misappropriating BRG’s trade secrets for its prefabricated data centers to obtain contracts for the construction of a data center for Facebook Inc. (BladeRoom Group Limited, et al. v. Emerson Electric Co., et al., No. 15-1370, N.D. Calif.).