Mealey's Trade Secret

  • December 06, 2019

    Magistrate: Heating Element Maker’s Trade Secret Claims Are Sufficiently Pleaded

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A manufacturer of heating elements for items such as household appliances has sufficiently stated the elements of its state and federal trade secret misappropriation claims against a competitor that it alleges improperly obtained its confidential and trade secret information pertaining to heating elements the manufacturer designed for client Whirlpool Inc. under the terms of a supply agreement and a mutual nondisclosure agreement (NDA), a federal magistrate judge in Delaware said in a Dec. 5 report and recommendation (Zoppas Industries de Mexico S.A. de C.V. v. Backer EHP Inc., No. 18-1693, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209455).

  • December 04, 2019

    Company Misappropriated Cocaine-Based Anesthetic Trade Secrets, Drug Maker Says

    PHILADELPHIA — A specialty pharmaceutical company sued its former business partner on Nov. 29 in a Pennsylvania federal court, alleging that the defendant misappropriated the company’s trade secret information pertaining to its cocaine hydrochloride 4 percent solution product and allowed the company’s competitors to use the information in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Genus Lifesciences Inc. v. Mallinckrodt LLC, et al., No. 19-5403, E.D. Pa.).

  • December 04, 2019

    Pennsylvania Federal Judge Enjoins Petitions For Trademark Cancellation

    PITTSBURGH — A trademark infringement counterclaimant on Dec. 3 won a preliminary injunction barring a false advertising plaintiff from prosecuting a petition to cancel “The Big Switch” and “Big Switch” trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (Mazcon v. BEG Group LLC, et al., No. 19-40, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207942).

  • December 03, 2019

    Certification Of Order Denying Dismissal Motion For DTSA Claim Denied

    ST. LOUIS — A federal magistrate judge in Missouri on Nov. 27 rejected a motion filed by defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit to certify a previous ruling for interlocutory review, holding that the earlier ruling denying dismissal of a claim for violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) “does not involve a controlling question of law appropriate for” such an appeal (Roeslein & Associates Inc., et al. v. Thomas Elgin, et al., No. 17-1351, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205720).

  • December 02, 2019

    Former Broker-Dealer Employee Denied Summary Judgment On Trade Secret Claims

    TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 25 ruled that a former CEO and consultant of related securities broker-dealers is not entitled to summary judgment on claims for violation of state and federal trade secret laws because a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the alleged trade secrets he is alleged to have misappropriated, in fact, constitute trade secrets (Hurry Family Revocable Trust, et al. v. Christopher Frankel, No. 18-2869, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203773).

  • December 02, 2019

    Federal Judge Rejects UCL, Sherman Act Counterclaims In Trade Secret Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 26 granted a medical technology company’s motion to strike and/or dismiss counterclaims under the Sherman Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in its lawsuit alleging that a company used its confidential, proprietary and trade secret information to develop a line of spectral flow cytometers (Becton, Dickinson and Company v. Cytek Biosciences Inc., et al., No. 18-00933, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205465).

  • November 26, 2019

    Judge Orders ‘Closed’ Response To Interrogatory In Patent, Trade Secret Dispute

    AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Nov. 21 ruled that a company that develops self-inflating tire technology is required to supply a “closed” response to an interrogatory filed by defendants in a patent inventorship and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit describing in sufficient detail what trade secrets were alleged orally disclosed to the defendants in two 2009 meetings set up to discuss the parties’ potential partnership in the commercialization of the plaintiff’s technology (CODA Development s.r.o., et al. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, et al., No. 15-1572, N.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202114).

  • November 26, 2019

    Copyright, Trade Secret Claims Against Facebook, Princeton Deemed Insufficient

    SAN FRANCISCO — Dismissal of state and federal trade secret law claims brought against Facebook and one of its affiliates and the trustees of Princeton University is warranted because a home design website developer has failed to sufficiently show that it took reasonable steps to protect secrecy of its data files, which were publicly available on the website, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 21 (UAB “Planner 5D” v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 19-3132, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203618).

  • November 22, 2019

    Oil Field Service Provider’s DTSA Claim Survives Defendants’ Dismissal Bid

    MARSHALL, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 20 accepted a federal magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that he deny three motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by an oil field service company that alleged that the defendants provided its trade secrets for its solid drilling waste management operation processes to a competitor in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Scott Environmental Services Inc. v. Newfield Exploration Co., et al., No. 19-26, E.D. Texas).

  • November 22, 2019

    Tech Company Sued For 2nd Time Over Alleged Trade Secret Misuse

    SAN DIEGO — A provider of high-speed integrated optical interconnect modules was hit with a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit by a former business partner on Nov. 6 in California state court, alleging that the defendant’s continued use of the plaintiff’s trade secrets in its products has resulted in further damages to the plaintiff’s business (Viasat Inc. v. Acacia Communications Inc., No. 37-2019-00060731-CB-BC-NC, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).

  • November 21, 2019

    Baseball Pitching Methodology Trade Secrets Survive Summary Judgment Attempt

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Nov. 19 ruled that the owner of trade secrets pertaining to a unique baseball pitching methodology has sufficiently alleged that his methodology was a protectable trade secret that he took reasonable efforts to maintain and that the operator of a competing business misappropriated those trade secrets after receiving the information while attending one of the plaintiff’s camps (Neiman Nix v. Kyle Boddy, et al., No. 18-992, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200702).

  • November 20, 2019

    Claims In Trade Secret Dispute Dismissed On Jurisdictional Grounds

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Nov. 15 ruled that he lacks personal jurisdiction over defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by the operator of a soccer academy that focuses on international study-abroad education programs between the United States and Italy because the plaintiff failed to sufficiently show that personal jurisdiction can be found under the three-part test for establishing specific jurisdiction (OSA Soccer Academy LLC v. College Life Italia, et al., No. 19-209, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199013).

  • November 19, 2019

    Tech Company Alleges That Former Employees Took Trade Secrets To Competitor

    SAN FRANCISCO — A technology company and its subsidiary sued three former employees in California federal court on Nov. 18, alleging that the defendants misappropriated its confidential and trade secret information for several of its products and used the information after departing to work for a competitor in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (Cisco Systems Inc. v. Wilson Chung, et al., No. 19-7562, N.D. Calif.).

  • November 19, 2019

    Plaintiff In Trade Secrets Dispute Argues Against Rule 37 Sanctions

    CHICAGO — Rule 37 sanctions are not warranted in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against a former customer of a stored energy solutions provider that is alleged to have breached the terms of a contract between the parties by using the provider’s trade secrets in marketing its product line without the provider’s permission and without paying the necessary royalties for the usage, the provider argues in a Nov. 14 opposition brief filed in Illinois federal court (LiiON LLC v. Vertiv Group Corp., et al., No. 18-6133, N.D. Ill.).

  • November 14, 2019

    Tennessee Federal Judge Lifts TRO In Copyright, Trade Secret Row

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a Nov. 13 decision memorializing her Nov. 7 bench ruling, a federal judge in Tennessee lifted a temporary restraining order (TRO) entered in October against various parties accused of copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation in connection with an upcoming Christmas show (Enchant Christmas Light Maze & Market Ltd. v. Glowco LLC, et al., No. 19-966, M.D. Tenn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196660).

  • November 13, 2019

    Failure To Show That Trade Secrets Were Kept Secret Leads To Dismissal Of Claims

    DALLAS — A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 12 ruled that a plaintiff in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against cruise line company Carnival Corp. and one of its executive officers failed to properly show that she took necessary steps to maintain the secrecy of trade secrets she alleged the defendants misappropriated in developing a reality television show (Sue Richter v. Carnival Corp., et al., No. 18-2172, N.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195675).

  • November 13, 2019

    Plaintiff Failed To Plead CUTSA, DTSA Claims With Particularity, Judge Rules

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ruling that a printing and imaging provider has failed to sufficiently state with particularity what trade secrets several of its former employees and a competitor are alleged to have misappropriated, a federal judge in California on Nov. 8 dismissed the plaintiff’s claims for trade secret misappropriation in violation of state and federal law (Zoom Imaging Solutions Inc. v. Edward Roe, et al., No. 19-1544, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195374).

  • November 12, 2019

    Claims In Trade Secret Dispute Against Investment Adviser Overturned On Appeal

    CINCINNATI — A Ohio appellate panel on Nov. 8 ruled that a state trial court erred in dismissing a trade secret misappropriation claim against an investment adviser based on the terms of a termination agreement because although the agreement released the defendant from his confidentiality and nonsolicitation obligations, the adviser had sufficiently shown that its customer contact and account information are trade secrets and may be able to show that the defendants misappropriated them (The Retirement Corporation of America, et al. v. David B. Henning, et al., No. C-180643, Ohio App., 1st Dist., Hamilton Co., 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 4656).

  • November 12, 2019

    Lack Of Description Of Trade Secrets Dooms Misappropriation Claim

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal magistrate judge in California on Nov. 7 ruled that a technology company and its acquired affiliate have failed to sufficiently describe the trade secrets they allege their former employee and an independent contractor misappropriated in violation of several agreements signed between the parties (Calsoft Labs Inc., et al. v. Venikata Panchumarthi, et al., No. 19-4398, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194939).

  • November 08, 2019

    Restrictive Covenant In Trade Secrets Suit Found To Be Void, Unenforceable

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on Nov. 6 granted a defendants’ motion to dismiss in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, ruling that a nonsolicitation provision contained in an employment agreement between a provider of integrated industrial safety services to the petrochemical industry and a former employee is void and cannot be reformed to comply with Louisiana law (Total Safety U.S. Inc., et al. v. Code Red Safety & Rental LLC, et al., No. 19-12953, E.D. La., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192665).