Mealey's Trade Secret

  • October 17, 2019

    Peptide Manufacturer Hits Former Employee, Competitor With Trade Secret Suit

    LOS ANGELES — A manufacturer of peptides and peptide-related molecules sued a former employee and a direct competitor in California federal court on Oct. 14, alleging that the defendants misappropriated the company’s trade secrets for its proprietary “Global Quality System” in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and common law (PolyPeptide Laboratories Inc. v. Brant Zell, et al., No. 19-8820, C.D. Calif.).

  • October 16, 2019

    Jury Awards Produce Technology Company $31M In Trade Secret, Patent Dispute

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A federal jury in Delaware on Oct. 11 found defendants in a trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement lawsuit liable for trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement and awarded a company that specializes in development of technology for the preservation of fruits and vegetables more than $31 million in damages (AgroFresh Inc. v. Essentiv LLC, et al., No. 16-0662, D. Del.).

  • October 15, 2019

    No Abuse Of Discretion Found In Ohio Trial Court’s Ruling On Trade Secret Claims

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A divided Ohio appeals panel on Sept. 30 ruled that a state trial court did not abuse its discretion in applying Ohio’s trade secrets act to find that a former employee of a boxing gym franchise and the gym he opened after the franchise closed misappropriated the franchise’s confidential and trade secret customer information when he accessed password-protected software to obtain its customer list to solicit customer business by email after the franchise ceased operations (MNM & MAK Enterprises LLC, et al. v. HIIT Fit Club LLC, et al., No. 18AP-980, Ohio App., 10th Dist., 2019 Ohio App. LEXIS 4076).

  • October 11, 2019

    Third-Party Complaint Claims Trimmed In Trademark, Trade Secret Dispute

    MIAMI — In an Oct. 9 order, a federal judge in Florida partially granted a motion to dismiss in part filed by counterdefendants in a trademark infringement lawsuit, ruling, in particular, that counterplaintiffs in the action have failed to sufficiently state their counterclaim for trade secret misappropriation under Florida trade secret law (VVIG Inc. v. Henry Alvarez, et al., No. 18-23109, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175304).

  • October 11, 2019

    Personal Jurisdiction Sufficiently Shown In Trade Secrets Dispute

    CINCINNATI — A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 8 ruled that a medical device maker has sufficiently shown that personal jurisdiction exists over its claims in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against former business associates based in China under Ohio’s long-arm statute and the due process clause of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (AtriCure Inc. v. Dr. Jian Meng, et al., No. 19-0054, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174499).

  • October 11, 2019

    Court Found To Lack Jurisdiction Over Claims In Sears’ Trade Secrets Suit

    CHICAGO — Dismissal of all claims in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by appliance retailer Sears Authorized Hometown Stores LLC against its competitor is necessary because Sears failed to show that a federal district court has subject matter jurisdiction over Sears’ claims, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Oct. 9 (Sears Authorized Hometown Stores LLC v. Nationwide Marketing Group LLC, No. 19-3403, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175205).

  • October 09, 2019

    Judge Dismisses UCL, Breach Of Contract Claims In Suit Over Proprietary Information

    ROCHESTER, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Sept. 26 granted a California company’s motion to dismiss a New York company’s California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and breach of contract claims but allowed claims for trade secret misappropriation and replevin to proceed in a dispute over proprietary information (ValveTech, Inc. v. Aerojet Rocketdyne, Inc., No. 17-6788, W.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165556).

  • October 09, 2019

    Pfizer Seeks Dismissal Of Claims In Trade Secret Dispute With Merck

    PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania should deny pharmaceutical company Pfizer Inc.’s motion to dismiss a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit filed against it and one of its employees because each of Pfizer’s arguments in support of its motion is meritless, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. argues in an Oct. 7 opposition brief filed in Pennsylvania federal court (Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Pfizer Inc., et al., No. 19-2011, E.D. Pa.).

  • October 09, 2019

    Summary Judgment Motions Granted In Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit

    CHICAGO — A consulting firm has failed to show that a genuine issue of material fact exists allowing its breach of contract, unjust enrichment and trade secret misappropriation claims to proceed against its former business partner, a federal judge in Illinois ruled Oct. 8 (Mission Measurement Corp. v. Blackbaud Inc., et al., No. 16-6003, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174057).

  • October 07, 2019

    High Court Declines Review Of Terminating Sanctions Order In Trade Secret Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 7 declined to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling upholding the issuance of a punitive sua sponte terminating sanctions order (TSO) in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit (Loop AI Labs Inc., et al. v. Anna Gatti, et al., No. 19-59, U.S. Sup.).

  • October 03, 2019

    Panel Overturns Dismissal Of Some Claims In Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit

    NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 2 said a federal judge erred in ruling that a company failed to sufficiently plead that confidential and proprietary information that a former employee of its exclusive distributor allegedly misappropriated in an attempt to divert customers away from the company and to a rival was, in fact, secret (Continental Industries Group Inc. v. Mehmet Autunitic, No. 18-1239, 2nd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 29576).

  • October 03, 2019

    Trade Secret Dispute Over Alleged Contract Breach Remanded To State Court

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Oct. 2 ruled that remand of a breach of contract and misappropriation lawsuit to state court is necessary because the defendant in the action failed to show that the amount in controversy exceeds the statutory requirement for removal (Mi Pulpe LLC v. Mexilink Inc., No. 19-23529, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170751).

  • October 03, 2019

    Fracking Companies Allege Trade Secret Misappropriation And Patent Infringement

    MIDLAND, Texas — Two hydraulic fracturing services companies on Sept. 30 sued a competitor that provides similar fracking services, contending that it is liable for patent infringement and misappropriation of trade secrets (Coil Chem LLC, et al. v. Durachem Production Company, et al., No. 19-225, W.D. Texas).

  • October 02, 2019

    State, Federal Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims Found To Be Time-Barred

    BAY CITY, Mich. — A federal judge in Michigan on Sept. 30 ruled that dismissal of state and federal trade secret law claims is necessary because a designer and manufacturer of equipment for “manufacturing applications” failed to bring those claims within the three-year statute of limitations (B&P Littleford LLC v. Prescott Machinery LLC, et al., No. 18-11425, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168196).

  • October 01, 2019

    Insurer Fends Off Motion To Dismiss State, Federal Trade Secret Law Claims

    CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on Sept. 30 ruled that an insurer has sufficiently alleged that Boeing Co. and its subsidiary used the insurer’s confidential and proprietary trade secret information in violation of state and federal trade secret laws for its aircraft purchase insurance business model in the creation of its own insurer with another insurance broker (Xavian Insurance Co. v. Boeing Capital Corp., No. 18-6222, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167665).

  • September 30, 2019

    DTSA Claim In Trade Secrets Lawsuit Over Licensing Contract Dismissed

    NEW YORK — A provider of software services for the management of structured finance and derivative portfolios failed to sufficiently plead that its former client violated provisions of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) by improperly using its proprietary swap valuation software, a federal judge in New York ruled Sept. 26 (Principia Partners LLC v. Swap Financial Group LLC, No. 18-7998, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16557).

  • September 26, 2019

    Tech Company’s Claims In Trade Secrets Dispute With Rival Survive Dismissal Bid

    SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge in Utah on Sept. 24 ruled that dismissal of a technology company’s state and federal trade secret law claims is not warranted because the company has sufficiently shown that those claims are not time-barred by the three-year statute of limitations (Ivanti Inc. v. StayLinked Corp., No. 19-0075, D. Utah, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 164574).

  • September 26, 2019

    State, Federal Trade Secret Law Claims Survive Summary Judgment Bid

    BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on Sept. 20 ruled that summary judgment on state and federal trade secret law claims in an employment dispute is not warranted because the defendant conceded that one of two trade secrets she is alleged to have misappropriated meets the necessary statutory definition of a trade secret (Maryland Physician’s Edge LLC v. Nancy Behram, M.D., No. 17-2756, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163536).

  • September 25, 2019

    DTSA Claim Dismissed For Failure To Plead ‘Interstate Commerce’ Element

    HONOLULU — A federal judge in Hawaii on Sept. 23 ruled that a nonprofit organization that provides hospice care to residents of Hawaii failed to sufficiently plead that its alleged trade secret “relates to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate commerce” as required pursuant to the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Islands Hospice Inc. Michael Duick, et al., No. 19-0202, D. Hawaii, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 162416).

  • September 20, 2019

    Panel: Counterclaims Properly Dismissed As Superseded By Trade Secret Law

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal district court did not abuse it’s discretion in dismissing a medical technology company’s counterclaims for unfair business practices and unjust enrichment against its competitor in the health care professional clothing industry without leave to amend because those counterclaims are superseded by California’s uniform trade secrets law, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Sept. 16 (Strategic Partners Inc. v. Vestagen Protective Technologies Inc., Nos. 17-56789, 17-56897 and 18-55156, 9th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 27819).