TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A majority of a Florida appeals court on March 20 affirmed a lower court’s ruling that an insurer’s quarterly supplemental reporting (QUASR) data satisfies the definition of trade secret under state law and is, therefore, exempt from public disclosure (Office of Insurance Regulation v. State Farm Florida Ins. Co., No. 1D16-2301, Fla. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 3662).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a March 15 press release, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that a California federal grand jury has indicted four individuals for computer fraud, trade secret theft and related charges in connection with the recently announced breaches of Yahoo Inc.’s network, including two officers in Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) (United States of America v. Dimitry Dokuchaev, et al., No. 17-278, N.D. Calif.).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — A Kentucky jury erred in rendering an inconsistent verdict in favor of a company in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit that determined that a former employee had signed a noncompete agreement for purposes of a breach of contract claim but that he had not executed the agreement for purposes of a fraud claim, a state appellate panel ruled March 10 in vacating and remanding the lawsuit to the lower state court (Alph C. Kaufman Inc., et al. v. Cornerstone Industries Corp., No. 2014-CA-001790-MR, Ky. App., 2017 Ky. App. LEXIS 46).
BISMARCK, N.D. — A company provided sufficient evidence to support its misappropriation of trade secrets claims against a former employee, a federal judge in North Dakota ruled March 13 in denying the former employee’s motion to dismiss (Aggreko LLC v. Guillermo Barreto, et al., No. 16-353, D. N.D., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35573).
SAN FRANCISCO — Ruling that plaintiff’s counsel’s conduct rose to the level of “insubordination” throughout the discovery process, a federal judge in California on March 9 dismissed a company’s misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against its former CEO and several others and ordered termination sanctions (Loop AI Labs Inc. v. Anna Gatti, et al., No. 15-0798, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34109).
SAN ANTONIO — A Texas trial court properly granted a temporary injunction in favor of company against its former employee preventing him from any further misappropriation of trade secrets because the company’s petition was in line with Texas statutory provisions, maintains the status quo and pleads a proper cause of action under Texas’ trade secrets law, a Texas appellate panel ruled March 8 (Christopher M. Hughes v. Age Industries Ltd., No. 04-16-00693-CV, Texas App., 4th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1920).
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida jury on March 2 returned a verdict against Wachovia Mortgage Corp., finding it liable for more than $43 million in actual loss after an employee misappropriated trade secrets in violation of the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act (FUTSA) through a blast email that resulted in more than $1.5 million in contract rescissions for a condominium project (Veranda Condominium I LLC, et al. v. Wachovia Mortgage Corp., No. CACE 10-38942 , Fla Cir., 17th Jud. Cir.).
ALBANY, Ga. — An agriculture supply company has shown that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against two former employees and a rival supply company and has suffered irreparable harm as a result of the defendants’ actions, a federal judge in Georgia ruled March 6 in granting the company’s motion for emergency preliminary injunction (Pinnacle Agriculture Distribution Inc. v. Mayo Fertilizer Inc., et al., No. 17-29, M.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30978).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on March 1 substantially denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that many of the claims are not preempted by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) (Henry Schein Inc. v. Jennifer Cook, et al., No. 16-3166, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29183).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Feb. 16, granted a motion to dismiss certain claims alleging violations of state and federal trade secret acts, finding that a company had not shown that Google and others had violated a nondisclosure agreement and the company’s purported trade secrets regarding using weather balloons as a platform for a communications network (Space Data Corporation v. X, et al., No. 16-cv-3260, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22571).
DALLAS — Two virtual reality (VR) technology companies asked a federal judge in Texas on Feb. 23 to issue a permanent injunction and a monetary judgment in their favor after a jury found that four defendants — including Facebook Inc. — violated the terms of a nondisclosure agreement and engaged in false designation in connection with their use of the companies’ proprietary information to develop certain VR technology (ZeniMax Media Inc., et al. v. Oculus VR Inc., et al., No. 14-cv-1849, N.D. Texas, Dallas Div.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — An iodine extraction and chemical manufacturing business is entitled to a permanent injunction against a former employee enjoining him from misappropriating any of the company’s trade secrets because a jury found that the former employee violated the terms he agreed to as part of a nondisclosure agreement when he was hired, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled Feb. 17 in granting in part and denying in part the company’s motion for the injunction (Iofina Inc., et al. v. Igor Khalev, et al., No. 14-1328, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22714).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal jury on Feb. 27 ordered four defendants to pay more than $5.1 million to a specialty food company for misappropriation of trade secrets damages and other damages stemming from the defendants’ alleged sale of counterfeit fig jam and a competing jam that was based on the food company’s recipe (Dalmatia Import Group Inc., et al. v. FoodMatch Inc., et al., No. 16-2767, E.D. Pa.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Waymo LLC — a Google Inc. division devoted to the development of self-driving cars — accused Uber Technologies Inc. of “calculated theft” in a patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Feb. 23 (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-939, N.D. Calif.).
ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia on Feb. 22 held that an insurer has failed to show that defendants misappropriated trade secrets to establish a competing business or that they violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), dismissing the insurer’s lawsuit with prejudice (HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. v. Valda Flowers, et al., No. 15-3262, N.D. Ga., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24852).
SALT LAKE CITY — Allegations that a counterclaim defendant interfered with a counterclaimant’s contractual rights and prospective business relations are sufficient to defeat the counterclaim defendant’s effort to invoke copyright preemption, a Utah federal judge ruled Feb. 21 (Advanced Recovery Systems LLC v. American Agencies LLC, No. 13-283, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24001).
AUSTIN, Texas — A hospital produced only “a scintilla of evidence” regarding communications that purportedly disclosed its trade secrets, which allegedly led to its failure, a Texas appeals panel ruled Feb. 17, finding no evidence of misappropriation or breach of contract by a competing hospital (Lakeway Regional Medical Center LLC, et al. v. Lake Travis Transitional LTCH LLC, et al., No. 03-15-00025, Texas App. 3rd Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1375).
NEW ORLEANS — Parties in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit asked the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals recently to determine whether a federal district court erred in holding two former employees liable for misappropriating the company’s code for its high frequency trading platform (Quantlab Technologies Ltd. [BVI], et al. v. Andriy Kuharsky, et al., No. 16-20242, 5th Cir.).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Feb. 10 partially granted and partially denied a motion to dismiss a trade secret misappropriation claim against Facebook Inc. and some of its affiliates, concluding that a claim under the Lanham Act was not valid, but that other claims for breach of contract were (Bladeroom Group Limited, et al. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 15-1370, N.D. Calif.).
SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah federal jury on Feb. 2 awarded a maker of aircraft washing systems more than $5 million after finding that a competitor had misappropriated its trade secrets (Petter Investments, Inc. v. Hydro Engineering, Inc., et al., No. 2:14-cv-45, D. Utah).