Mealey's Trade Secret

  • October 19, 2017

    Judge Finds Buffet Franchiser Did Not Steal Confidential Information

    AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Oct. 16 refused to grant the owner of a franchise of restaurants a preliminary injunction prohibiting a former franchisee from operating buffets, finding no evidence to support a finding that the franchisee stole confidential information (Stockade Companies, LLC v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-CV-143-RP, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170944).

  • October 18, 2017

    Waymo’s Request To Reopen Discovery In Trade Secrets Suit Denied

    SAN FRANCISCO — It is too late in the litigation in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. and others to require Uber to turn over all of its source code for its self-driving vehicle technology, and a plaintiff’s motion to compel Uber to turn over the source code is overly broad, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 16 in denying the motion (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-0939, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170903).

  • October 17, 2017

    Uber Seeks To Prevent Waymo From Reopening Discovery In Trade Secrets Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The plaintiff in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. and others has failed to show that discovery should be reopened for the plaintiff to determine whether Uber used the plaintiff’s source code to develop its autonomous vehicle source code, Uber argues in an Oct. 12 opposition brief filed in California federal court (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-0939, N.D. Calif.).

  • October 12, 2017

    Trade Secrets, Other Claims Not Plausible On Face, Former Business Partner Says

    CHICAGO — A company has failed to show that its trade secrets misappropriation, trademark infringement, breach of contract and other claims against its former business partner are plausible on their face and, thus, dismissal of those claims is warranted, the former business partner argues in an Oct. 10 motion to dismiss filed in Illinois federal court (Mighty Deer Lick Inc., d/b/a Mighty Deer Lick Sweet Apple Inc., v. Morton Salt Inc., No. 17-5875, N.D. Ill.).

  • October 11, 2017

    Company’s Request For Temporary Restraining Order In Trade Secrets Suit Denied

    MINNEAPOLIS — A company has failed to show that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits or a likelihood of irreparable harm in seeking a temporary restraining order against a former employee and his current employer, who are alleged to have misappropriated the company’s trade secrets in an attempt to solicit its clients and employees, a federal judge in Minnesota ruled Oct. 6 in denying the company’s motion (Mid-America Business Systems v. Kevin Sanderson, et al., No. 17-3876, D. Minn., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 166463).

  • October 10, 2017

    Ex-Employee Denied Bid To Argue Computer Fraud Case In Supreme Court

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A man convicted for computer fraud and misappropriation of his former employer’s trade secrets saw his petition for certiorari denied Oct. 10, as the U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider his question about what constitutes access to a computer “without authorization” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (David Nosal  v. United States, No. 16-1344, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 6, 2017

    Company’s Preliminary Injunction Motion In Trade Secrets Suit Denied

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A company failed to show that a preliminary injunction is warranted in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against a former employee because the company did not show that a substantial likelihood of success on the merits exists, a federal judge in New York ruled Oct. 3 (Art and Cook Inc. v. Abraham Haber, No. 17-1634, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164366).

  • October 6, 2017

    Jury Instruction Set In Bimbo Bakeries Trade Secret Suit

    SALT LAKE CITY — Jury instructions in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit will contain an instruction on the clear and convincing evidence standard that will enable bread products producer Bimbo Bakeries Inc. to obtain attorney fees only if a jury finds that there was willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets by clear and convincing evidence, a federal judge in Utah ruled Sept. 23 (Bimbo Bakeries Inc. v. Leland Sycamore, et al., No. 13-749, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 157050).

  • October 4, 2017

    Balloon Supplier’s State, Federal Trade Secrets Claims Survive Dismissal Motion

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dismissal of state and federal misappropriation of trade secrets claims is not warranted because a company and its owner have shown that a misappropriation occurred and the claims were brought within the three-year statute of limitations, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled Oct. 2 in denying the a helium supplier’s motion to dismiss (God’s Little Gift Inc. v. Airgas Inc., No. 17-0004, W.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162701).

  • October 4, 2017

    Trial Date In Uber Trade Secrets Suit Moved To Early December

    SAN FRANCISCO — In an Oct. 4 order, the federal judge overseeing the trade secrets and patent infringement lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. granted plaintiff Waymo LLC’s motion for a continuance and delayed the start of trial until early December (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-0939, N.D. Calif.).

  • October 3, 2017

    Protective Order Motions Over Due Diligence Report In Trade Secrets Suit Denied

    SAN FRANCISCO — The issuance of protective orders over a due diligence report submitted by a nonparty specialized risk management firm in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit against Uber Technologies Inc. is not warranted because none of the parties seeking the protective orders has provided a sufficient reason to “override the public interest factor” of providing transparency in the report, a federal judge in California ruled Sept. 28 in denying the motions (Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies Inc., et al., No. 17-0939, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89174).

  • October 3, 2017

    Federal Judge Awards Pool Supply Franchise $261,915 For Tortious Interference

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on Sept. 19 awarded a pool supply franchise $261,915 for the defendants’ tortious interference with its advantageous business relationship with a franchisee (Pinch A Penny, Inc. v. SR & JG, INC., et al., No. 15-80067, S.D. Fla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153178).

  • September 26, 2017

    Judge Substantially Denies Dismissal Motion In Trade Secrets Lawsuit

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal judge in Delaware substantially denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss in a breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit on Sept. 22, ruling that the defendant failed to show that a company with which it had entered into a series of contracts did not properly plead the elements of certain claims or that certain claims were preempted by Delaware’s trade secrets law (Moon Express Inc. v. Intuitive Machines LLC, No. 16-344, D. Del., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155487).

  • September 26, 2017

    Judge: Consultant Not An Indispensable Party In Trade Secrets Suit

    CINCINNATI — Ruling that an outside management consultant is not an indispensable party in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, a federal judge in Ohio on Sept. 22 rejected a steel company’s motion to dismiss counterclaims filed by the steel company’s former transportation logistics partner (AK Steel Corp., et al. v. Pittsburgh Logistics Systems Inc., No. 16-1032, S.D. Ohio, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155208).

  • September 25, 2017

    Boat Maker Argues Rival Identified No Protectable Trade Dress, Trade Secrets

    ATLANTA — A competing high-end boat manufacturer failed to identify any protectable, nonfunctional trade dress that was allegedly infringed, a craft designer tells the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 20 appellee brief, also alleging that purportedly misappropriated confidential information did not qualify as trade secrets under Florida law (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 17-11176, 11th Cir.).

  • September 22, 2017

    Ex-Employee Defends Certiorari Petition In CFAA Unauthorized Access Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Sept. 19 reply brief supporting his petition for certiorari, a man who was convicted for unauthorized access of his former employer’s network under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)  tells the U.S. Supreme Court that a ruling by the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirming his conviction, if allowed to stand, would make it a federal crime to share network login credentials (David Nosal  v. United States, No. 16-1344, U.S. Sup.).

  • September 20, 2017

    Trade Secrets Law Partially Preempts Claims Against Former Employees, Judge Says

    CHICAGO — Illinois’ trade secrets law preempts a company’s claims for tortious interference with business relationships and/or expectancy with its customers, unfair competition and civil conspiracy claims against its direct competitor in the global transportation and logistics industries as far as those claims rely on the misappropriation of confidential information, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Sept. 18 in granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss (XPO Logistics Inc. v. Best Dedicated Solutions LLC, et al., No. 17-1946, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 151317).

  • September 20, 2017

    New York Justice: Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Trade Secret Defendants

    NEW YORK — Plaintiffs have failed to establish general or specific jurisdiction over defendants in a misappropriation lawsuit as required pursuant to state law, a New York state court justice ruled Sept. 13 in granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss (Albion & Heath LLC v. Hencor Capital Inc., No. 652976/2016, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 3480).

  • September 19, 2017

    Appellate Panel Affirms Trial Court’s Ruling On Objections In Trade Secrets Suit

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana trial court did not err in sustaining a peremptory exception raising the objection of prescription as to a company’s claim for damages under the state’s uniform trade secrets law and for other state and common-law claims in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, a Louisiana appellate panel ruled Sept. 15 in affirming the trial court’s judgment (Safe Air Technology LLC v. Gerald Christie, et al., No. 2017 CA 0320, La. App., 1st Cir., 2017 La. App. Unpub. LEXIS 285).

  • September 19, 2017

    9th Circuit Reverses, Remands Trade Dress Functionality Ruling

    SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge erred in holding that the overall configuration of a live auction television show is functional, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 15, reversing and remanding the denial of preliminary injunctive relief in a trade dress infringement and trade secret misappropriation case (VBS Distribution Inc. v. Nutrivita Inc., et al., No. 17-11598, 9th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 17951).