LOS ANGELES — A company sued a number of related parties in California federal court on July 14, alleging that the defendants misappropriated its trade secret information for the development of a cement truck internal cleaning system they obtained as part of an agreement to construct the system and are in the process of developing a substantially similar system using the company’s trade secret information in violation of federal trade secret law (Core Insight Systems Inc. v. Global Barrier Services Inc., et al., No. 20-1246, C.D. Calif.).
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge in California on July 8 dismissed a U.S. auto parts distributor’s complaint and motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets by a Chinese manufacturer, its U.S. subsidiary and employees and granted a defense motion to compel arbitration of the claims after finding that an arbitration clause consented to by the parties was in effect at the time the dispute arose (Pilot Inc. v. TYC Brother Industrial Co. Ltd., et al., No. 20-2978, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120083).
LINCOLN, Neb. — Ruling that a group purchasing organization for more than 600 pharmacies has failed to provide any factual support for its counterclaims that a former employee breached the terms of an employment agreement he signed and misappropriated the organization’s trade secrets when he resigned and began developing a competing company, a federal judge in Nebraska on July 8 granted the former employee’s motion to dismiss the counterclaims against him (Thomas Jackson v. Smart-Fill Management Group Inc., et al., No. 20-3019, D. Neb., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 119299).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on July 6 ruled that a consulting firm has sufficiently alleged that a former employee and an industry competitor misappropriated the firm’s trade secrets when the employee left his employment with the plaintiff, began working for the competitor and engaged in a scheme to misappropriate the firm’s trade secrets in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (Krypt Inc. v. Ropaar LLC, et al., No. 19-3226, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118207).
NEW YORK — A federal magistrate judge in New York on July 1 issued a report and recommendation that a New York federal district court should award more than $20 million in compensatory damages for lost profits and punitive damages, plus post-judgment interest, to a company in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against a former employee of its exclusive distributor, ruling that the company’s submission of new evidence is sufficient to show the existence of lost profits “to a reasonable certainty” (Continental Industries Group Inc. v. Mehmet Altunkilic, No. 14-790, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116763).
SHERMAN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on July 6 ruled that a technology company’s “narrow objection” to a federal magistrate judge’s ultimate finding that the plaintiff must show the required “use” of its trade secrets by the defendant in stating its state and federal trade secret law claims is without merit and partially granted the defendant’s summary judgment motion (Accresa Health LLC v. Hint Health Inc., No. 18-536, E.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117620).
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on June 25 ruled that a manufacturer of sexual wellness products is not entitled to summary judgment on a federal trade secret law claim filed against it by an industry competitor for allegedly misappropriating the competitor’s trade secret information for its premature ejaculation (PE) product because genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether the competitor has sufficiently stated the claim (Absorption Pharmaceuticals LLC v. Reckitt Benckiser LLC, No. 17-12872, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 113123).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 19 ruled that transfer of a franchisors’ trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against franchisees to Delaware federal court is proper based on the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ multifactor balancing test (Sweet Charlie’s Franchising LLC v. Sweet Moo’s Rolled Ice Cream LLC, No. 19-4618, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107675).
LOS ANGELES — A cosmetics manufacturer that specializes in promoting new cosmetics through ecommerce and social media platforms sued a cosmetics company owned by media personality and socialite Kylie Jenner in California state court on June 30, alleging that the company, an industry competitor and others have engaged in a scheme to steal and misappropriate its proprietary business model in violation of California trade secret law (Seed Beauty LLC, et al. v. Coty Inc., et al., No. 20-721, Calif. Super., Los Angeles Co.).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on June 29 ruled that a community bank and its parent company have sufficiently alleged that several former employees violated state and federal trade secret laws when they engaged in a scheme to misappropriate the bank’s confidential and proprietary customer information before abruptly resigning from their positions and accepting employment with a competing bank (Seacoast Banking Corp. of Florida, et al. v. Matthew Diemer, et al., No. 20-0057, M.D. Fla.).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on June 26 substantially denied a summary judgment motion filed by defendants in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract lawsuit, ruling that although a majority of an independent advisory firm’s claims must be decided by a jury, its claim for unjust enrichment is duplicative of its breach of contract claims and must be dismissed (Dietrich & Associates Inc. v. John R. Neison, et al., No. 18-5034, E.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 112534).
WILMINGTON, Del. — Hydraulic fracturing companies sued financial services providers in the Delaware Chancery Court on June 9, contending that they violated their fiduciary and contractual duties and numerous state laws governing trade secrets when they commingled funds and engaged in transactions outside the scope of the agreement they had entered (Lone Pine Resources LP, et al. v. William S. Dickey, et al., No. 2020-0450, Del. Chanc.).
HOUSTON — A developer and manufacturer of corrosion prevention products sued three former employees and two industry competitors in Texas federal court on June 23, alleging that the defendants misappropriated the company’s confidential and trade secret information in the developing competing products in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (Corrosion Prevention Technologies LLC v. Loren L. Hatle, et al., No. 20-2201, S.D. Texas).
CHICAGO — Defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit are not entitled to have claims against them dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction because any injury they may have caused to an industry competitor stemming from their alleged misappropriation of its X-ray tube technology trade secrets has directly arisen from their contacts with the State of Illinois, the plaintiffs argue in a June 22 opposition brief filed in Illinois federal court (Philips Medical Systems [Cleveland] Inc., et al. v. Jose Buan, et al., No. 19-2648, N.D. Ill.).
BOSTON — An American citizen of Chinese descent asked a federal judge in Massachusetts on June 22 to dismiss a criminal indictment charging him with stealing trade secrets from his former employer, arguing that he has been selectively targeted by the FBI based on his racial background (United States of America v. Haoyang Yu, et al., No. 19-cr-10195, D. Mass.).
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A preliminary injunction against a former employee of a construction company that builds cold-storage facilities prohibiting him from soliciting any employees or clients of his former employer is moot because the two-year period prohibiting him from engaging in such activities contained in a restrictive covenant has expired, an Alabama Supreme Court panel ruled June 22 (Joshua Rogers v. Burch Corp., No. 1190088, Ala. Sup., 2020 Ala. LEXIS 90).
CHICAGO — A manufacturer of lancing devices and lancets sued its former business partner in Illinois federal court on June 11, alleging that the defendant misappropriated the manufacturer’s trade secret and proprietary information to set up competing business and steal the plaintiff’s customers (Facet Technologies LLC v. Asahi Polyslider Co. Ltd., No. 20-3435, N.D. Ill.).
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A federal judge in Missouri on June 10 held that although 36 documents contained in a privilege log and sought by a company in a legal malpractice and aiding and abetting trade secret misappropriation lawsuit are protected by attorney-client privilege, the judge would conduct an in camera review of the documents to determine whether they were subject to the joint-client exception (Energy Creates Energy LLC, et al. v. Brinks Gilson Lione P.C., et al., No. 18-913, W.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101900).
DES MOINES, Iowa — A trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a vodka maker’s request for attorney fees and sanctions pursuant to Iowa law after the plaintiff voluntarily dismissed the defendant from the action because the plaintiff’s claims in its pleadings were not frivolous in nature, an Iowa appellate panel ruled June 17 (Oz Spirits LLC v. Swell Liquor LLC, et al., No. 19-0513, Iowa App., 2020 Iowa App. LEXIS 642).
NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 17 ruled that a federal district court erred in granting a company’s motion for summary judgment on a breach of contract claim filed by a product developer in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit because the lower court improperly construed the terms of the parties’ confidentiality agreement in concluding that no such breach existed (Hoover Panel Systems Inc. v. HAT Contract Inc., No. 19-10650, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 19044).