WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Feb. 15 merits brief, a trade association tells the U.S. Supreme Court that an exemption of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for “trade secrets and commercial or financial information” merely requires a showing that withheld information was “confidential,” arguing that an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling improperly held that the exemption required establishing that “substantial competitive harm” would result from disclosure (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup.).
PITTSBURGH — An oil and gas exploration company sued its former reservoir engineer in Pennsylvania federal court on Feb. 19, alleging that the defendant engaged in a multimonth scheme to steal the company’s confidential and trade secret information in violation of state and federal trade secret law (EQT Corp. v. Jeffrey Lo, No. 2:05-mc-2025, W.D. Pa.).
BOSTON — In a one-page order on Feb. 15, a First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel denied an information and technology based health services business’ request for injunctive relief pending its former employee’s appeal in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, ruling that remand “would be prudent in light of the district court’s indicative ruling and in light of the proceedings already conducted by the district court regarding” the business’ motion for a temporary restraining order (Optum Inc., et al. v. David William Smith, No. 19-19-1149, 1st Cir.).
NEW YORK — A health care technology company has sufficiently cured pleading deficiencies that previously led to the dismissal of several claims in its complaint against its competitor, a federal judge in New York ruled Feb. 13 in granting the plaintiff’s motion for leave to file an amended complaint (Opternative Inc. v. JAND Inc., No. 17-6936, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6936).
SAN DIEGO — The owner of a sole-proprietorship failed to sufficiently state a claim for relief for copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets or antitrust and unfair trade practices against her former collaborative partner and others, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 13 in granting a pair of dismissal motions (Sara Elizabeth Siegler v. Sorrento Therapeutics Inc., et al., No. 18-1681, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23779).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Feb. 11 ruled that a plaintiff in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit failed to sufficiently show that reconsideration of the judge’s order granting in part and denying in part its amended complaint is warranted because the plaintiff has not presented any argument showing that the judge failed to properly consider the facts before him in issuing his order (Citcon USA LLC v. RiverPay Inc., et al., No. 18-2585, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — A candle maker on Feb. 11 sued another candle company in a California federal court, asserting claims for copyright and trademark infringement and violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL), alleging that the company made and sold candles using its artwork and federally registered proprietary names (Indio Products, Inc. v. CSP Yemaya International, Inc., et al., No. 2:19cv1018, C.D. Calif.).
MOBILE, Ala. — A provider of transportation and logistics services sued a former employee and a direct competitor in Alabama federal court on Feb. 11, alleging that the former employee breached the terms of his employment agreement with the plaintiff by stealing its trade secrets and misappropriating them in an effort to compete with it in violation of state and federal trade secret misappropriation laws (ContainerPort Group Inc. v. Jeremy Law, et al., No. 19-0063, S.D. Ala.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 8 ruled that a federal district court did not err in issuing a contempt order against defendants in a patent infringement and trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit for violating the terms of a stipulated protective order because the defendants failed to use agreed upon language in press releases that were issued after the parties had agreed to settle their claims (Codexis Inc. v. EnzymeWorks Inc., et al., No. 2018-1655, Fed. Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 3929).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A Chinese engineer pleaded not guilty to charges that he stole Apple Inc. trade secrets pertaining to its attempt to development of an autonomous vehicle on Jan. 28 in California federal court (United States of America v. Jizhong Chen, No. 19-mj-70117, N.D. Calif.).
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — A Fourth District Illinois Appellate Court panel on Feb. 1 ruled that a state trial court abused its discretion in granting a corn refiner’s motion for preliminary injunction in a trade secrets misappropriation and breach of contract lawsuit because it improperly applied the doctrine of inevitable disclosure to find that the plaintiff had shown a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of its trade secret misappropriation claim (Archer Daniels Midland Co. v. Lane D. Sinele, et al., No. 4-18-0714, Ill. App., 4th Dist.).
SHERMAN, Texas — In adopting a federal magistrate judge’s report and recommendations, a federal judge in Texas on Feb. 5 found that the magistrate judge correctly recommended that summary judgment on a claim for trade secret misappropriation be granted in favor of a defendant in a lawsuit filed by a medical software developer and provider against its former employee and others (Virtual Chart Solutions I Inc. v. Brian Lee Meredith, et al., No. 17-546, E.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18100).
MADISON, Wis. — A federal judge in Wisconsin on Feb. 1 ruled that although plaintiffs in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract lawsuit should have abandoned some of their claims, sanctions are not warranted, rejecting a defendants’ pair of motions seeking sanctions after all claims were dismissed on summary judgment (Gary Willert, et al. v. Bruce Andre, et al., No. 17-596, W.D. Wis., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16838).
TRENTON, N.J. — For the third time, a drug company has failed to cure key pleading deficiencies that led to the dismissal of its complaints against a former employee and others who are alleged to have misappropriated the drug company’s trade secrets and breached the terms of several agreements between the parties, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Jan. 31 (Oakwood Laboratories LLC v. Bagavathikanun Thanoo, et al., No. 17-5090, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15473).
BALTIMORE — A franchisor has failed to show that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims against a former franchisee or that, absent a temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction, the continued existence and operation of the defendant’s new business will cause irreparable harm to the franchisor, a federal judge in Maryland ruled Jan. 29 in denying the franchisor’s motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in a trade secrets misappropriation and breach of contract lawsuit (SH Franchising LLC v. Newlands Homecare LLC, et al., No. 18-2104, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14378).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Jan. 28 ruled that a defendant in a trade secrets misappropriation and breach of contract lawsuit may not bring successive motions to dismiss an amended complaint because it has failed to show that it has met any of the exceptions that would apply in allowing it to do so (Adacel Inc., et al. v. Adsync Technologies Inc., No. 18-1176, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12792).
NEWARK, N.J. — In a redacted opinion, a federal judge in New Jersey on Jan. 28 ruled that a pharmaceutical company has sufficiently stated several challenged claims against several of its former employees and a direct competitor in denying several dismissal motions filed by the defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit (Par Pharmaceutical Inc, et al. v. QuVa Pharma, et al., No. 17-6115, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13590).
CINCINNATI — An Ohio federal judge on Jan. 25 granted a preliminary injunction to a relocation services franchisor to prevent former franchisees from directing customers to stop contacting it, to stop the use or disclosure of trade secrets, to stop the breaching of noncompete and nonsolicitation agreements and to prevent wrongful competition (Relo Franchise Services Inc. v. Connor Gilman, et al., No. 18-578, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12335).
SEATTLE — The U.S. Department of Justice on Jan. 28 unsealed a grand jury indictment against Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Device Co. Ltd. and its American subsidiary that alleges that the defendants engaged in a multiyear scheme to steal trade secrets from T-Mobile USA Inc. for its robotic phone testing system (United States v. Huawei Device Co. Ltd., et al., No. 19-cr-0010, W.D. Wash.).
DETROIT — An electronic security system integrator sued its former director of sales and its direct competitor in Michigan federal court on Jan. 25, alleging that the defendants engaged in a scheme to misappropriate the plaintiff’s trade secrets in an effort to direct customer contract opportunities away from it (In2Gro Technologies LLC v. Perry Moss, et al., No. 09-10252, E.D. Mich.).