Mealey's Trade Secret

  • August 11, 2017

    State Trade Secrets Law Preempts Remaining Tort Claims, Tennessee Judge Rules

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A company has properly pleaded its claim for violation of state trade secrets laws because it has identified the trade secrets alleged to have been misappropriated, but it may not bring its remaining common-law tort claims because they are preempted by the state trade secrets law, a federal magistrate judge in Tennessee ruled July 31 in granting in part and denying in part a motion to dismiss filed by the defendants (AFS Logistics LLC v. Christopher R. W. Cochran, et al., No. 16-3139, M.D. Tenn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119798).

  • August 9, 2017

    Expert Testimony In Patent, Trade Secrets Action Allowed By Federal Judge

    SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 7 declined to exclude testimony from two experts for a pharmaceutical company asserting patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation claims against rival companies, ruling that the experts’ opinions meet all standards for expert testimony (Tech Pharmacy Services, LLC v. Alixa Rx LLC, et al., No. 4:15-cv-766, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 124423, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123990).

  • August 7, 2017

    Company Has Shown That Competitor Misappropriated Trade Secret, Judge Rules

    MINNEAPOLIS — A company has shown that a former employee and the company’s chief competitor in the financial institution check printers business obtained the company’s trade secrets and misappropriated them in an effort to obtain one of the company’s largest customers, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Aug. 3 in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss a number of claims (Deluxe Financial Services LLC v. Brian S. Shaw, et al., No. 16-3065, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122795).

  • August 4, 2017

    Judge Denies Motion For Temporary Restraining Order In Trade Secrets Suit

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A company has failed to show that a former consultant violated the terms of a noncompetition agreement or misappropriated any of the company’s trade secrets, a federal judge in Ohio ruled Aug. 1 in denying the company’s motion for temporary restraining order (Dimex LLC, et al. v. Albert B. Cheris, No. 17-610, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120772).

  • August 3, 2017

    West Virginia Federal Judge Denies Relief In Copyright, Trade Secret Row

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Allegations of copyright infringement by a software provider against a former employee stemming from his allegedly unauthorized use of source code are unlikely to succeed, a West Virginia federal judge held Aug. 1, denying entry of preliminary injunctive relief (CSS Inc. v. Christopher Herrington, et al., No. 16-1762, S.D. W.Va., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120396).

  • August 2, 2017

    Federal Trade Secrets Claim Survives Dismissal Motion In Misappropriation Suit

    CHICAGO — A plaintiff in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit has shown that a former employee and a competitor company misappropriated the plaintiffs’ trade secrets and that the plaintiff’s trade secrets were used in interstate commerce in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, a federal judge in Illinois ruled July 31 in denying the defendants’ motions to dismiss (Wells Lamont Industry Group LLC v. Richard Mendoza, et al., No. 17-1136, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119854).

  • August 1, 2017

    Judge Grants Defendant Statutory Injunctive Relief In Trade Secrets Suit

    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — A federal judge in Arkansas on July 28 granted Cuker Interactive LLC statutory injunctive relief under Arkansas’ trade secrets law, ruling that Cuker has shown that it is entitled to such relief against Walmart Stores Inc. over Walmart’s alleged misappropriation of certain of Cuker’s trade secrets (Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Cuker Interactive LLC, No. 14-5262, W.D. Ark., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119147).

  • August 1, 2017

    Federal Circuit Vacates, Remands Trademark Board ‘Earnhardt’ Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Findings by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) that the mark “Earnhardt Collection” is not primarily merely a surname may have relied on an improper application of In re:  Hutchinson Technology Inc., the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled July 27 (Teresa H. Earnhardt v. Kerry Earnhardt Inc., No. 16-1939, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 13576).

  • July 28, 2017

    Sears Home & Business Sues Ex-Franchisee For Alleged Use Of Marks And Trade Secrets

    CHICAGO — Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc. on July 14 filed a five-count complaint in Illinois federal court seeking a preliminary injunction enjoining a former franchisee from continuing to operate two businesses as if authorized by Sears Home and from using its marks, confidential information and trade secrets (Sears Home & Business Franchises Inc. v. Arizona Garage Doors & Repair Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-05239, N.D. Ill., Eastern Div.).

  • July 26, 2017

    Judge Stays Lawsuit Pending Transfer Ruling In Related Trade Secrets Action

    SAN DIEGO — A stay of proceedings in a copyright infringement action is necessary pending resolution of a motion to transfer in a related misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit pursuant to the first-to-file rule, a federal judge in California ruled July 17 in granting a motion to stay proceedings by defendants in the action (3D4Medical.com LLC, et al. v. Orca Health Inc., No. 17-0335, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 110733).

  • July 26, 2017

    Judge Vacates Default Ruling In Athletic Apparel Trademark Infringement Case

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on July 24 set aside a default ruling entered against the chief operating officer of an apparel company that allegedly infringed on another entity's trademark in violation of federal trademark law and California's unfair competition law (UCL), finding that setting aside the default ruling would not prejudice the owner of the mark (Lights Out Holdings LLC v. Lights Out Apparel LLC, et al., No.16cv2195, S.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115326).

  • July 26, 2017

    Judge: Company Did Not Show That Former Employee Misappropriated Trade Secrets

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on July 11 denied a company’s motion for a preliminary injunction on grounds that it failed to demonstrate that its trade secrets had been misappropriated by a former employee that went to work for a competitor (Cortz, Inc. v. Doheny Enterprises, Inc., et al., No. 17-2187,  N.D. Ill.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106454).

  • July 26, 2017

    Misappropriation Of Trade Secrets Claim May Proceed Against Revolving-Door Maker

    WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on July 10 denied a revolving-door manufacturer and its founder’s motion to dismiss claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and violations of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Practices Act (UDTPA) brought against it by a rival revolving-door manufacturer for whom the founder had once served as president. The motion to dismiss was granted with respect to several other claims (Tucker Auto-Mation of N.C., LLC v. Russell Rutledge, et. al., No. 1:15cv893, M.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105890).

  • July 26, 2017

    French Telecomm Company Not Guilty Of Stealing Trade Secrets, Jury Finds

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal jury in California on July 24 unanimously found that a French telecommunications company did not violate provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act or California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act in using another company’s trade secrets in developing a social calling platform and partnering on the technology with social media provider Facebook (Telesocial Inc. v. Orange S.A., et al., No. 14-3985, N.D. Calif.).

  • July 25, 2017

    Judge: No Wrongdoing Shown On Part Of Defendants In Trade Secrets Suit

    NEW YORK — Dismissal of claims against a competitor company and CEO in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit is warranted because the plaintiff failed to show that those defendants engaged in any wrongdoing to incentivize certain of the plaintiff’s employees to misappropriate its trade secrets, a federal judge in New York ruled July 24 in granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss with prejudice (In re Document Technologies Litigation, Nos. 17-2405, 17-3433 and 17-3917, S.D. N.Y.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103095).

  • July 25, 2017

    Pharmacy Services Company Ordered To Stop Employing Executive Director

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on July 7 granted a motion for a temporary restraining order filed by a pharmacy services company and ordered a competitor to immediately stop employing the plaintiff’s former employee, finding that the plaintiff was likely to succeed on the merits of several of its claims (Express Scripts, Inc. v. Samuel J. Lavin, et al., No. 17-1423, E.D. Mo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 105006).

  • July 25, 2017

    Federal Judge Compels Fertilizer Seller To Produce Withheld Discovery

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa — An Iowa federal judge on July 7 partially granted a maker and seller of fertilizer's motion to compel a competitor to produce documents that it alleged were improperly withheld but found that the defendants should not be required to produce all of the requested items (Nachurs Alpine Solutions Corp. v. Brian K. Banks, et al., No. 15- 4015, N.D. Iowa, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104778).

  • July 24, 2017

    Company Denied Injunction To Protect Trade Secrets In Software Posted On Internet

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge on June 28 denied a software company’s motion for a preliminary injunction to prevent a coin-counting-machine manufacturer from selling machines containing the software company’s software, concluding that it was not likely to prevail on the merits of the case, which alleged misappropriation of trade secrets by the manufacturer (Arkeyo LLC v. Cummins Allison Corp., No. 16-4720, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100605).

  • July 24, 2017

    Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order In Trade Secrets Suit

    OMAHA, Neb. — Ruling that a medical staffing company has provided enough evidence to support its request that former employees and a corporate competitor be temporarily enjoined from continuing to misappropriate the company’s confidential and trade secret information, a federal judge in Nebraska on July 21 granted the company’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) (Sharp Medical Solutions LLC v. Denise Stobbe, et al., No. 17-262, D. Neb., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113918).

  • July 24, 2017

    Judge Denies Defendants’ Summary Judgment Motion In Trade Secrets Suit

    BOSTON — Defendants in a copyright infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit failed to show that summary judgment is warranted with regard to the misappropriation claims because a jury could reasonably determine that the defendants misrepresented each of the trade secrets at issue and that each of those trade secrets was not publicly available or disclosed, a federal judge in Massachusetts ruled July 19 in denying the motion (Iconics Inc. v. Simone Massaro, et al., No. 11-11526, D. Mass, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112042).