SAN DIEGO — A multilevel marketing company that sells culinary products has failed to sufficiently plead that the daughter of its former CEO misappropriated its confidential and trade secret information or aided and abetted her mother in pillaging the company’s employees and contractors and using the company’s proprietary spice blends to create competing products, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 4 in substantially dismissing all claims against the daughter (Spice Jazz LLC v. Youngevity International Inc., et al., No. 19-583, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206327).
DENVER — A directional drilling company has sufficiently pleaded its claim against its former owners and the wife of one of the former owners for trade secret misappropriation in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) because the company has properly pleaded each of the elements of the claim, a federal judge in Colorado ruled Nov. 3 (Dab Drilling Inc. v. Brandon Dabovich, et al., No. 18-1197, D. Colo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204926).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Chinese technology firm Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. filed a complaint in District of Columbia federal court on Oct. 30 seeking to compel a group of federal government agencies to provide documents responsive to 12 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests seeking materials related to an investigation of criminal trade secret violations by Huawei by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) (Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., et al. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, et al., No. 20-3155, D. D.C.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A provider of web-based business software and information technology tools has sufficiently pleaded its state and federal trade secret law claims against an industry competitor alleged to have misappropriated the provider’s trade secrets to unfairly compete with it by properly identifying the trade secrets and showing how the defendant used them to compete with the plaintiff, a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 27 (Zoho Corp. Pvt. Ltd. v. Freshworks Inc., No. 20-1869, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199917).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A startup company that develops technology relating to the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea has failed to properly plead allegations establishing personal jurisdiction over two companies and three individuals it provided its confidential and trade secret information to as part of a nondisclosure agreement (NDA), a federal judge in California ruled Oct. 26 in granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss (Serenium Inc. v. Jason Zhou, et al., No. 20-2132, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 198947).
HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — A federal judge in Arkansas on Oct. 2 ruled that a provider of services in the forest products industry has sufficiently stated a majority of its claims against a former employee alleged to have taken part in a scheme with others to steal the company’s confidential and trade secret information and use the information to form a competing company in violation of state and federal trade secrets law (Timber Automation LLC v. FiberPro LLC, et al., No. 20-6076, W.D. Ark., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183560).
AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Oct. 16 ruled that a defendant in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit is not entitled to a stay of discovery proceedings pending appeal of a preliminary injunction ruling barring him from working for an industry competitor for two years because such relief is not needed, the defendant will not face any undue hardship and the stay benefits judicial economy (Seaman Corp. v. Edward V. Flaherty, No. 20-443, N.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192164).
MARIETTA, Ga. — A biopharmaceutical company that develops regenerative biologics using human placental allografts on Oct. 16 sued an industry competitor and seven former employees who left their employment with the plaintiff to work for the competitor in Georgia state court, alleging that the defendants breached the terms of two restrictive covenants and misappropriated proprietary customer information to improperly compete with the company (MiMedx Group Inc. v. Stimlabs LLC, et al., No. 20105766, Ga. Super., Cobb Co., 2020 Ga. Sup. Ct. Pleadings LEXIS 1304).
BOSTON — A federal judge in Massachusetts on Oct. 21 ruled that a manufacturer of motion control products and systems for automobiles has sufficiently stated its claims for trade secret misappropriation in violation of state, federal and common law because it sufficiently pleaded the existence of trade secrets that were allegedly misappropriated by a former business partner (Moog Inc. v. ClearMotion Inc., No. 19-12066, D. Mass., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 194913).
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A federal judge in Georgia on Oct. 19 denied a defendant’s request to serve the remaining term of his 70-month prison sentence for his role in a trade secret theft scheme in home confinement due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, ruling that such relief could be granted only by the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) (United States v. Craig German, No. 19-cr-069, S.D. Ga., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193097).
RALEIGH, N.C. — A bioanalytical lab that specializes in large molecule bioanalysis has failed to show good cause why its request for expedited discovery in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit should be granted, a North Carolina state court judge ruled Oct. 19 in denying the request (BioAgilytix Labs LLC, et al. v. Safa Alvandkouhi, et al., No. 20 CVS 10501, N.C. Super., Wake Co., 2020 NCBC LEXIS 125).
By John P. Katerndahl
NEW ORLEANS — Applying the 25 percent factor that he previously determined to “represent the scope of the fee award” defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit are entitled to recover, a federal judge in Louisiana on Oct. 15 awarded the defendants $64,070.95 in attorney fees, ruling that the amount awarded is adequate after adding several reductions to the lodestar amount the defendants had previously sought (Source Production & Equipment Co. Inc., et al. v. Kevin J. Schehr, et al., No. 16-17528, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 191606).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 15 ruled that a residence data analytics firm has failed to provide sufficient evidence showing that personal and credit data collectors Experian Information Solutions Inc. and Experian Services Corp. violated state and federal trade secret laws by using and misappropriating the firm’s trade secret information to develop a competing current expected credit losses (CECL) product (Weiss Residential Research LLC v. Experian Information Solutions Inc., et al., No. 20-861, S.D. Calif.).
PASADENA, Calif. — A Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Oct. 15 overturned a federal district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a defendant in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit stemming from a failed software licensing agreement, ruling that genuine issues of material fact exist as to whether the plaintiff in the action had properly identified the trade secrets allegedly misappropriated with the requisite particularity (InteliClear LLC v. ETC Global Holdings Inc., No. 19-55862, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 32542).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on Oct. 16 dismissed a genetic sequence analysis company’s claim for damages under California’s unfair competition law (UCL), trade secrets claim for exemplary damages and fees and fraud claim in a dispute against a former business partner but allowed the company’s claim for exemplary damages and attorney fees under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) against certain defendants to proceed (Quintara Biosciences, Inc. v. Ruifeng Biztech Inc., et al., No. 20-04808, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192419).
DENVER — A federal judge in Colorado on Oct. 13 granted a real estate warranty provider’s motion for preliminary injunction in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiff has sufficiently shown that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims and that it will suffer irreparable harm if such relief is not granted (Home Buyers Warranty Corp., et al. v. Debra Sue Gentry, et al., No. 20-395, D. Colo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189058).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A software company that designs software-as-a-service platforms to businesses for the development of target direct mail campaigns sued its former executive vice president and an industry competitor in Ohio federal court on Sept. 29, alleging that the defendants misappropriated its trade secret information in an effort to develop a competing product and lure customers away from the company in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (NFocus Consulting Inc. v. Benjy Uhl, et al., No. 20-5106, S.D. Ohio).
MIAMI — A Florida trial court erred in dismissing a production and marketing company’s state law trade secret misappropriation claim against a cruise line because the cruise line failed to sufficiently show that the proprietary processes and techniques the company alleged the cruise line misappropriated were not protected trade secrets, a Florida appellate panel ruled Oct. 7 (Poet Theatricals Marine LLC, et al. v. Celebrity Cruises Inc., No. 3D19-26920, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2020 Fla. App. 14081).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A provider of insurance products to senior citizens sued an industry competitor in Kansas federal court on Oct. 2, alleging that the competitor and the health insurance provider that acquired it violated state and federal trade secret laws when they violated the terms of a court-approved protocol, poached the plaintiffs' employees and encouraged them to misappropriate the insurer's confidential and trade secret policyholder information (Bankers Life and Casualty Co. v. American Senior Benefits LLC, et al., No. 20-2488, D. Kan.).