SAN FRANCISCO — Analytics company ForeSee Results and its corporate parent sued three former employees and its direct competitor in California federal court on Dec. 6, alleging that the defendants violated the terms of their employment agreements with the company by forming their own company to compete with ForeSee and used its trade secret and copyrighted materials to develop a competing software product (ForeSee Results Inc., et al. v. AURYC Inc., et al., No. 17-6973, N.D. Calif.).
TRENTON, N.J. — The plaintiff in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against a former employee and a direct competitor and its subsidiaries has failed to sufficiently show what trade secrets the former employee is alleged to have misappropriated and, thus, cannot support its claims against the defendants, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Nov. 28 in dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice (Oakwood Laboratories LLC v. Bagavathikanun Thanoo, et al., No. 17-5090, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194935).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge in Kentucky on Dec. 1 substantially denied an insurance company’s motion for partial summary judgment in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether its employee misappropriated his former employer’s trade secrets in violation of provisions of his employment agreement (Church Mutual Insurance Co. v. Von Smith, et al., No. 14-749, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 197634).
CHICAGO — Judgment on the pleadings in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit is not warranted because the defendants’ arguments in support of their motion are factual disputes that cannot be resolved on such a motion, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Nov. 29 (Avison Young-Chicago LLC v. Keith Puritz, et al., No. 17-0844, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 196189).
DENVER — A defendant in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit has failed to show that its direct competitor was aware that the defendant had unlawfully accessed the competitor’s confidential and proprietary information in violation of state law outside of the applicable statute of limitations, and its claims, therefore, are not time-barred, a federal magistrate judge in Colorado ruled Nov. 28 in denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss (Gates Corp. v. CRP Industries Inc., No. 16-1145, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 195053).
By Laura A. Frase
SAN FRANCISCO — The plaintiff in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit has shown that a temporary restraining order (TRO) preventing two former employees and its direct competitor from using the plaintiff’s confidential and proprietary customer and sales and pricing information is warranted, meeting all statutory requirements necessary to obtain the TRO, a federal judge in California ruled in granting the motion on Nov. 22 (H.Q. Milton Inc. v. Jessy Webster, et al., No. 17-6598, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193646).
LAS VEGAS — A Nevada federal judge on Nov. 8 partially granted an emergency ex parte motion for temporary restraining order filed by a franchisor and ordered a former employee who is accused of seizing control of the franchisor’s domain name to halt using any domain name containing the franchisor’s name or similar variations of it and to not disclose any trade secrets (PROTEINHOUSE Franchising, LLC, et al. v. Ken B. Gutman, et al., No. 17-2816, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185468).
SAN FRANCISCO — The California federal judge overseeing the misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit brought by autonomous car development company Waymo LLC against Uber Technologies Inc. and others slammed Waymo’s one-sentence critique of a proposed jury instruction in the action on Nov. 8, calling the defendants’ response “irritating” and “of no help” (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-0939, N.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — A developer of flight control, aviation and information technologies has properly pleaded the elements of its state and federal trade secrets claims against a former employee who is alleged to have improperly downloaded and retained several of the company’s confidential and proprietary documents by stating what trade secret information was misappropriated, that the trade secret was, in fact, misappropriated and that the company was harmed as a result, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 10 in denying the former employee’s motion to dismiss (Rockwell Collins Inc. v. Jacob Wallace, No. 17-1369, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190361).
NEW ORLEANS — Dismissal of counterclaims filed by defendants in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit is proper because the defendants cannot bring counterclaims for attorney fees on a breach of contract claim under Texas state law and have failed to show that the company brought its misappropriation of trade secrets claim in bad faith, a federal judge in Louisiana ruled Nov. 20 in granting the company’s motion to dismiss (Wright’s Well Control Services LLC v. Oceaneering International Inc., No. 15-1720, E.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS).
SHERMAN, Texas — A company has properly stated a claim for relief in seeking declaratory relief against several former employees and its direct competitor for alleged trade secret misappropriation and patent and copyright infringement, among other things, and its claims under the Copyright Act provide a federal district court with federal question jurisdiction, a federal judge in Texas ruled Nov. 20 in denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss (Performance Pulsation Control Inc. v. Sigma Drilling Technologies LLC, et al., No. 17-0450, E.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191530).
DENVER — Dismissal of a company’s conversion claim in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against a former employee is not warranted at this stage of the litigation because the former employee has failed to show that the conversion claim is dependent on a finding of “trade secret status,” a federal judge in Colorado ruled Nov. 17 in denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss (Abbott Laboratories v. Dustin Finkel, No. 17-0894, D. Colo., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190173).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A defendant in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit filed by his former business partner is not entitled to an award of attorney fees after successfully moving to compel arbitration in the action because he is not the prevailing party in the action since the arbitration proceedings will adjudicate the merits of the claims against him, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 16 in denying the defendant’s motion (Mahamedi IP Law LLP, et al. v. William Paradice, et al., No. 16-2805, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 190086).
WICHITA, Kan. — A plaintiff in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against its former employee and direct competitor has failed to show that expedited discovery is warranted in the action under Kansas’ reasonableness or good cause test because, among other things, the plaintiff’s discovery sought is overly broad, a federal magistrate judge in Kansas ruled Nov. 15 in denying the plaintiff’s motion for expedited discovery (HydroChem LLC v. Loren Keating, et al., No. 17-1281, D. Kan., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 188467).
LAS VEGAS — An insurer has failed to show that an insured’s damages sought in an insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit exceed the $75,000 statutory threshold, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Nov. 9 in remanding that action to state court (Aurora Garcia v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 17-858, D. Nev., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185891).
LANSING, Mich. — A kitchen and bath retail store chain owner sued its direct competitor and three of its former employees in Michigan federal court on Nov. 10, alleging that the defendants misappropriated the plaintiff’s trade secrets and provided the information to the competitor in violation of state and federal trade secrets law (Williams Distributing Co. v. W.S. Townsend Co., et al., No. 17-0981, W.D. Mich.).
DES MOINES, Iowa — A state trial court did not err in denying charitable solicitation business’s request for a permanent injunction in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit because it failed to show that it had a trade secret or that its direct competitor misappropriated that trade secret as required pursuant to state law, an Iowa Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 8 in affirming (Clearly Compliant LLC v. Theresa M. Bornbach, et al., No. 16-1418, Iowa App., 2017 Iowa App. LEXIS 1147).
MIAMI — An online payment and settlement computer-based platform for the shipping and cargo industry sued two former employees and others on Nov. 3 in a Florida federal court, claiming that the defendants misappropriated the company’s trade secret information to form a competing company in violation of state and federal trade secrets law (Coihue LLC, et al. v. PayAnyBiz LLC, et al., No. 17-24062, S.D. Fla.).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Nov. 6 entered a default ruling in favor of a health and fitness company on its claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and trademark infringement against a company that was selling its products online, awarding the owner of the trademarks $213,731.02 in damages and fees (Beachbody LLC v. Power Trade Direct, et al., No. 17-2093, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183739).