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Mealey's Trade Secret

  • August 16, 2018

    Texas Federal Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction In Employment Trade Secrets Case

    SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Aug. 15 issued a preliminary injunction against a nursing staffing agency, finding a prima facie case that three ex-employees that are accused in a civil lawsuit of altering records to direct job candidates away from one agency to another (AHS Staffing, LLC v. Quest Staffing Group, Inc., et al., No. 18-402, E.D. Texas, Sherman Div., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137818).

  • August 15, 2018

    Reporter Sued For Not Relinquishing Control Of Newspaper’s Twitter Account

    ROANOKE, Va. — Claiming that it owns trade secret rights in the followers list of a Twitter account used by a former employee, the owner of a Virginia newspaper on Aug. 6 filed suit in Virginia federal court against that reporter for not turning over control of the account upon leaving the company, alleging state and federal claims for trade secret misappropriation and computer fraud (BH Media Group Inc. v. Andy Bitter, No. 7:18-cv-00388, W.D. Va.).

  • August 13, 2018

    Citing Split, N.J. Federal Judge Says Stay Of Patent Case Not Warranted

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Aug. 10 joined with judges in the Southern District of California, the Eastern District of Texas, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Eastern District of Texas, the Middle District of Florida and the District of Delaware in determining that stays of patent litigation pending the outcome of petitions for covered business method (CBM) and inter partes review (IPR) are “premature” (Nasdaq Inc., et al. v. Miami International Holdings Inc., et al., No. 17-6664, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 135193).

  • August 10, 2018

    Judge Substantially Trims Claims In Trade Secret Misappropriation Dispute

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Aug. 7 substantially trimmed claims in a breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that a health care technology company has failed to plausibly state a claim for relief against a competitor for alleged trade secret misappropriation in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and New York common law (Opternative Inc. v. JAND Inc., No. 17-6936, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132827).

  • August 10, 2018

    State, Federal Trade Secret Law Claims Survive Motion To Dismiss

    SEATTLE — A sperm bank has sufficiently alleged that it took reasonable measures to protect its confidential and proprietary information and that the information derives the company’s economic value from not being “generally known to other companies in the industry,” as required under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), a federal judge in Washington ruled Aug. 9 in granting in part and denying part a competitor and two former employees’ motion to dismiss (Seattle Sperm Bank LLC v. Cryobank America LLC, et al., No. 17-1487, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134668).

  • August 9, 2018

    3rd Circuit Reverses Quash Of Discovery Subpoena In Bone Cement Trade Secret Case

    PHILADELPHIA — Finding that a trial court failed to properly apply the standards for obtaining a subpoena to obtain discovery for use in a foreign trade secret lawsuit, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 6 vacated the quash of the subpoena and remanded for reconsideration in light of the facts of the underlying German lawsuit (In re:  Application of Biomet Orthopaedics Switzerland GmbH under 28 U.S.C. 1782 for an order to take discovery for use in a foreign proceeding, No. 17-3787, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21684).

  • August 9, 2018

    Panel: Plaintiff In Trade Secrets Suit Not Prejudiced By Evidentiary Rulings

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 7 ruled that a plaintiff in a trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition lawsuit was not prejudiced by a series of adverse evidentiary rulings and that a federal district court properly instructed the jury on United Arab Emirates (UAE) law that pertained to one of the claims (InfoSpan Inc. v. Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, No. 17-55000, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21945).

  • August 8, 2018

    Motion To Overturn Verdict In BladeRoom Trade Secret Dispute Denied

    SAN FRANCISCO — Ruling that he found “no legitimate basis to overturn any portion” of a jury verdict in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, a federal judge in California on Aug. 3 denied Emerson Electric Co.’s post-verdict motion for judgment as a matter of law in its long-running civil lawsuit with BladeRoom Group Limited (BRG) (BladeRoom Group Limited, et al. v. Emerson Electric Co., et al., No. 15-1370, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132071).

  • August 8, 2018

    Panel Affirms District Court Judgment, Rulings In Trade Secrets Dispute

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal district court committed no reversible error in denying a party’s adverse spoliation of evidence inference jury instruction in a computer fraud and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit because the court clearly stated to the parties before and after trial that the jury must determine whether spoliation had occurred, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled July 30 in affirming the district court’s judgment and several orders (Lexpath Technologies Holdings Inc. v. Brian Welch, et al., No. 17-2604, 3rd Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21034).

  • August 8, 2018

    11th Circuit Affirms In Trade Dress, Trade Secret Dispute Over Boat Design

    ATLANTA — In an Aug. 7 holding, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found that although a Florida federal judge erred in requiring a threshold showing of inferior product quality to establish post-sale consumer confusion, the record in a dispute over competing boat designs is nonetheless “devoid of evidence indicating a probability of post-sale confusion,” rendering summary judgment proper (Yellowfin Yachts Inc. v. Barker Boatworks, LLC, et al., No. 17-11176, 11th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21918).

  • August 7, 2018

    Judge Remands Restaurant Owner’s Trademark, UCL Claims To California Court

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After finding that a restaurant owner is not asserting a federal trademark infringement claim, a California federal judge on Aug. 2 remanded its claims for violation of California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and common-law trademark infringement to state court (Early Morning Inc. v. Eliud Moreno, et al., No. 2:18-cv-00483, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 130116).

  • August 7, 2018

    Trade Secret, Computer Fraud Defendant Denied Coram Nobis On Appeal

    SAN FRANCISCO — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Aug. 2 ruled that a federal district court did not err in denying a petition for a writ of error coram nobis and motion for release of materials pursuant to U.S. Supreme Court precedent filed by a man convicted of computer fraud and trade secret misappropriation because such relief is not available until “a petitioner ‘already has fully served [his] sentence’” (United States of America v. David Nosal, No. 18-10089, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 21476).

  • August 6, 2018

    GE Engineer Released On $100,000 Bond After Alleged Trade Secret Theft

    ALBANY, N.Y. — An engineer with General Electric Co. (GE) was released from prison on Aug. 2 on a $100,000 bond pending trial on criminal charges in connection with his alleged theft of the company’s trade secrets for its turbine sealing technology (United States v. Xiaoqing Zheng, No. 18-mj-434, N.D. N.Y.).

  • August 3, 2018

    DTSA Claim Dismissed After Judge Finds Defendants Were Owners Of Trade Secrets

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on July 23 granted motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, ruling that the alleged misappropriation that is the subject of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) claim occurred prior to the statute’s enactment (Jack Mann v. Heather Bales, et al., No. 16-9623, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122754).

  • August 1, 2018

    Judge: Court Lacks Jurisdiction Over Claims In Trade Secrets Dispute

    DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on July 30 ruled that an electrical component manufacturer failed to show that the court has personal jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s claims in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against a Chinese company and certain of its U.S. subsidiaries because the manufacturer’s jurisdictional claims against the company are conclusory (MAGicALL Inc. v. Advanced Energy Industries Inc., et al., No. 17-2582, D. Colo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126873).

  • July 31, 2018

    Preliminary Injunction Granted In Trade Secret Misappropriation Lawsuit

    NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on July 26 ruled that a consulting engineering firm has sufficiently shown that it will suffer a likelihood of irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is not granted in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit (Scherer Design Group LLC v. Chad Schwartz, et al., No. 18-3540, D. N.J., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125644).

  • July 30, 2018

    Dissolution Of TRO In Trade Secrets Suit Substantially Denied

    MONROE, La. — A federal judge in Louisiana on July 25 rejected a request by a defendant in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit to dissolve a temporary restraining order (TRO) for failure to provide the required notice before seeking it, ruling that the defendant agreed to multiple extensions of the TRO and failed to seek any relief from it before filing the motion (JJ Plank Co. LLC, et al. v. Gary Bowman, No. 18-0798, W.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125002).

  • July 26, 2018

    Summary Judgment Rulings In Contract, Trade Secret Dispute Affirmed

    HELENA, Mont. — The Montana Supreme Court on July 24 ruled that a state trial court correctly granted summary judgment in favor of a payroll and related business services provider’s former employee on a breach of a contract claim because a licensing agreement the parties entered into was “valued and enforceable in accordance with its express terms” and the company had no right to certain software the former employee developed other than what was provided for in the contract (Associated Management Services Inc. v. Daniel R. Ruff., et al., No. DA 17-0102, Mont. Sup., 2018 Mont. LEXIS 245).

  • July 25, 2018

    Judge: Company Stated Plausible Trade Secret Misappropriation Claim

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on July 20 ruled that a company that specializes in marine industrial equipment for military use has stated a plausible claim for relief in making its state and federal trade secret misappropriation law claims against a company formed by two former employees (Primacy Engineering Inc. v. SAN Engineering Inc., et al., No. 18-129, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 121459).

  • July 24, 2018

    Trade Secret, Computer Fraud Defendant Seeks Coram Nobis On Appeal

    SAN FRANCISCO — A man convicted of computer fraud and trade secret misappropriation from his former employer asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a July 18 reply brief to vacate a trial court’s denial of his petition for a writ of error coram nobis, also seeking reversal of the custodial portion of his sentence based on subsequent misdeeds of his ex-employer (United States v. David Nosal, No. 18-10089, 9th Cir.).