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.
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.).
LAS VEGAS — The same day a federal judge in Nevada granted a software provider's motion for a preliminary injunction against its insurer customer in a trade secret misappropriation dispute, the insurer on Sept. 23 moved to dismiss eight of the 11 claims brought against it (ImageKeeper LLC v. Wright National Flood Insurance Services LLC, No. 20-1470, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175011).
HOUSTON — Two defendants on Sept. 23 failed to persuade a federal judge in Texas to revisit his February summary judgment holding that a header ring patent is not anticipated, when the judge denied a motion for reconsideration (Utex Industries Inc. v. Dr. Troy Wiegand, et al., No. 18-1254, S.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174272).
TAMPA, Fla. — A technology company's industry competitor on Sept. 4 appealed a Florida federal jury's award of $5.7 million in damages stemming from the defendant's alleged misappropriation of the company's trade secrets in developing competing systems that were nearly identical to those of the company (Financial Information Technologies Inc. v. iControl Systems USA LLC, No. 17-190, M.D. Fla.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California dismissed a cryptocurrency exchange's Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) claim against a former employee on Sept. 22, ruling that the exchange failed to sufficiently plead that the defendant actually misappropriated any confidential or trade secret information (Payward Inc. v. Nathan Peter Runyon, No. 20-2130, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173907).
LAS VEGAS — A federal district court in Nevada lacks the necessary jurisdiction over a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by an equipment rental company against a former outside sales representative and an industry competitor because neither of the defendants has the required connection to the forum state, the defendants argue in a Sept. 21 motion to dismiss (Ahern Rentals Inc. v. Samuel Eure, et al., No. 20-1680, D. Nev.).
EUGENE, Ore. — A joint owner of a failed hemp production manufacturing joint venture sued the failed business's former CEO in Oregon federal court on Sept. 21, alleging that the CEO and other related parties misappropriated and sold the failed company's trade secret hemp strain to a Canadian company in violation of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Big Wuf Enterprises LLC, et al. v. Go Farm Hemp LLC, et al., No. 20-1634, D. Ore.).
GREENVILLE, S.C. — An insulin management software company's former senior executive violated state and federal trade secret laws by raiding the company of its confidential information and trade secrets pertaining to its pricing and contract details for all of its accounts and using this information to compete with his former employer after obtaining employment as CEO of its chief competitor, the company alleges in a Sept. 18 complaint filed in South Carolina federal court (Glytec LLC, et al. v. Raymie McFarland, et al., No. 20-3321, D. S.C.).
RENO, Nev. — Although a former Tesla Inc. employee has sufficiently shown that his alleged theft of company trade secrets pertaining to the company's Model 3 automobile and subsequent release of that information to a reporter could not have caused the declines in Tesla's stock price to which its damages expert testified, a federal judge in Nevada on Sept. 17 ruled that she was not persuaded by any of the other arguments proffered by the defendant in his summary judgment motion (Tesla Inc. v. Martin Tripp, No. 18-0296, D. Nev., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 170855).
NEW ORLEANS — In a revised opinion, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 17 ruled that a Texas federal court did not err in finding that a company did not use its former employee's patented and trade secret technology to develop a competing product because although the proclaimed legal issue raised by the former employee and the company he formed was a factual one, the plaintiffs "failed to carry their burden of proof at trial" (In the Matter of: ATOM Instrument Corp., No. 19-20151, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30065).