Mealey's Trade Secret

  • February 23, 2017

    Utah Federal Judge: No Copyright Preemption On Conspiracy Claim

    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).

  • February 23, 2017

    Texas Panel Finds No Evidence Trade Secret Disclosure Harmed Failed Hospital

    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).

  • February 21, 2017

    Parties Debate District Court’s Summary Judgment Ruling In Trade Secrets Suit

    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.).

  • February 21, 2017

    Judge: Trade Secret Claim Valid Against Facebook, Others Related To Data Centers

    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.).

  • February 21, 2017

    Washing System Maker Awarded $5.1 Million For Trade Secret Misappropriation

    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).

  • February 21, 2017

    Russian Railcar Firm Seeks Jurisdictional Discovery Over Trade Secret Defendant

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — In conjunction with its pending motion for discovery to establish California jurisdiction over a former employee accused of trade secret violations, a Russian railcar company on Jan. 17 filed a proposed order in California federal court, permitting it to subpoena Google Inc. to obtain information about the defendant’s Gmail email account (OOO Brunswick Rail Management, et al. v. Richard Sultanov, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00017, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8374).

  • February 21, 2017

    Prescription Drug Card Idea Not Novel, New York Justice Rules

    NEW YORK — A New York justice on Feb. 10 dismissed misappropriation of trade secrets and other claims against a division of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company after finding that a rival company failed to show that a co-payment method it developed for purchasing prescriptions was a novel idea (PSKW, LLC v. McKesson Specialty Arizona, Inc., No. 602921/2007, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • February 21, 2017

    Judge: Alleged Statements About Company Are Not Basis For Lanham Act Claims

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — A federal judge in Alaska on Feb. 3 granted in part and denied in part motions for summary judgment by parties to a misappropriation of trade secrets suit, holding, among other things, that certain issues regarding the dispute between home alarm companies cannot support a claim of alleged Lanham Act violations (Security Alarm Financing Enterprises, L.P. v. Alder Holdings, LLC, et al., No. 13-cv-00102, D. Alaska).

  • February 21, 2017

    Wells Fargo’s Eviction Policies, Procedures Not Trade Secrets, Judge Rules

    FRESNO, Calif. — Wells Fargo Bank N.A.’s eviction policies and procedures are not trade secrets and are discoverable pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a federal judge in California ruled Feb. 7 in denying the bank’s motion for protective order (Brooke Noble v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al., No. 14-1963, E.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17988).

  • February 21, 2017

    Panel: Record Supports Finding That Information In Question Is Not Trade Secret

    DALLAS — A Texas appeals panel on Feb. 15 affirmed a lower court’s denial of an elevator installer’s application for a temporary injunction in its lawsuit against its former employees, concluding that the record supports an implied finding that the information in question is not a trade secret pursuant to the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA) (Baxter & Associates, L.L.C. d/b/a Baxter Elevator v. D&D Elevators, Inc., et al., No. 05-16-00330-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist., 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1352).

  • February 21, 2017

    Judge Finds Salesman Did Not Infringe On Trade Secret With Boat Design

    TAMPA, Fla.— A Florida federal judge on Feb. 16 granted judgment in favor of a boat maker, finding that customer information did not constitute a trade secret and that a reasonable jury could not find that it infringed on another company's trade dress when it manufactured an allegedly similar boat (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 8:15-cv-990, M.D. Fla.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21745).

  • February 21, 2017

    Judge: Routing Guides Could Be Trade Secrets; Carriers’ Identities Are Not

    CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Jan. 18 granted in part a third-party logistics provider’s motion for a preliminary injunction, finding that while the routing guides it used to ship steel made by AK Steel Corp. could be considered trade secrets, the identities of the carriers it used are not (AK Steel Corporation, et al. v. Pittsburgh Logistics Systems, Inc., No. 16-cv-1032, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6875).

  • February 21, 2017

    11th Circuit Reinstates In Part Military Contractor’s Misappropriation Suit

    ATLANTA — A company that designs, manufactures and maintains security systems used on U.S. military bases may proceed with some of its claims that a competitor — that only maintains security systems — misappropriated proprietary information and used that information to win a bid for exclusive maintenance rights on the military bases, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 31 (Advantor Systems Corporation v. DRS Technical Services, Inc., et al., No. 15-14992, Advantor Systems Corporation, et al. v. DRS Technical Services, Inc., et al., No. 16-11273, 11th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1735).

  • February 17, 2017

    Federal Circuit Upholds Polymer Firm’s Sanctions In ITC Trade Secret Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In light of the “staggering scale” of evidence spoliation conducted by a polymer manufacturer that was the target of an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 15 upheld the commission’s imposition of discovery sanctions against the firm in the form of default judgment and an exclusion order (Organik Kimya Sav. Ve Tic., A.S., et al. v. U.S. International Trade Commission, et al., No. 15-1774 and 15-1833, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2623).

  • February 16, 2017

    Judge: Misappropriation Of Trade Secrets Claims Against Samsung Are Time-Barred

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on Feb. 14 granted Samsung’s motion to dismiss trade secret misappropriation claims in a lawsuit challenging the ownership of augmented reality technology, finding that these claims under California and New York law are barred by their respective statutes of limitations (GeoVector Corp. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., No. 16-02463, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20872).

  • February 16, 2017

    Fracking Companies: Former Employee Stole Secrets As Part Of ‘Fraudulent Scheme’

    HOUSTON — Two hydraulic fracturing companies on Feb. 13 filed a lawsuit in Texas federal court against a former employee, his wife and the company they formed, alleging that they are liable for “willful and malicious trade secret misappropriation under federal and state law,” as well as other breaches as part of a “fraudulent scheme” (Reveal Energy Inc., et al. v. Matthew A. Dawson, et al., No. 17-459, S.D. Texas).

  • February 16, 2017

    Federal Circuit: ‘Extreme’ Destruction Of Trade Secret Evidence Warrants Sanction

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Trade Commission (ITC) properly barred a Turkish company from importing products using opaque paint polymers into the United States for 25 years — the harshest sanction possible — as punishment for destroying computer evidence in violation of a discovery order in a misappropriation of trade secrets investigation, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 15 (Organik Kimya San ve Tic, A.S., et al. v. International Trade Commission, et al., Nos. 15-1774, 15-1833, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2623).

  • February 16, 2017

    Trademark Case Between Long-Feuding Auto Companies Sparks Diverging Outcomes

    DETROIT — An automotive products company may largely proceed with its trademark action against a former business partner with which it has been feuding for more than a decade and whose counterclaims are largely time-barred and unsupported, a federal judge in Michigan held Jan. 23 (Ziebart International Corp. v. Z Technologies Corp. v. Pure Asphalt Co., No. 15-11745, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8527).

  • February 16, 2017

    Judge Says Trade Secret Damages Valuation Expert Testimony Will Be Allowed

    DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Feb. 13 adopted a special master’s recommendation that the testimony of a certain expert should not be excluded from a trade secrets damages suit (MSC.Software Corporation v. Altair Engineering, Inc., et al., No. 07-cv-12807, E.D. Mich., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19733).

  • February 16, 2017

    9th Circuit: Company Raised Material Triable Issues In Misappropriation Case

    PASADENA, Calif. — A company raised material triable issues as to whether its customer lists and financial information qualify as trade secrets, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal ruled Jan. 30 in an unpublished opinion that reversed in part summary judgment in favor of the defendant (Contemporary Services Corporation v. Landmark Event Staffing Services, Inc., et al. No. 14-56636, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1614).