SAN DIEGO — A pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services provider and its subsidiaries failed to sufficiently show that a federal district court has specific jurisdiction over claims against a former business partner and its subsidiary and others stemming from a failed joint venture agreement because the plaintiffs have not properly pleaded that the defendants purposefully directed their actions at the forum state, a federal judge in California ruled March 24 (MedImpact Healthcare Systems Inc., et al. v. IQVIA Holdings Inc., et al., No. 19-1865, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50955).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Supreme Court on March 25 ruled that pursuant to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Perdue v. Kenny, a state appellate court erred in affirming an attorney fee award in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit that included a lodestar enhancement because the determined lodestar was reasonable for the services rendered by the attorneys representing the winning party in the action (Phoenix Lighting Group LLC, et al. v. Genlyte Thomas Group LLC, et al., No. 2020-Ohio-1056, Ohio Sup., 2020 Ohio LEXIS 730).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — An international franchise consulting organization sued a former associate and franchisee in Kentucky federal court on March 20, alleging that the defendants violated the terms of an associated agreement by misappropriating the organization’s confidential and proprietary customer and business information to benefit a direct competitor in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (FranNet LLC v. Douglas Grant, et al., No. 20-203, W.D. Ky.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on March 20 ruled that a company in the translation services industry has sufficiently identified trade secrets and has properly shown that its industry competitor misappropriated those trade secrets in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) after improperly obtaining them during a court-ordered auction of stockholder shares (TransPerfect Global Inc. v. Lionbridge Technologies Inc., et al., No. 19-3283, S.D. N.Y.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Former Google LLC engineer Anthony Levandowski has reached a plea deal in a criminal proceeding stemming from his alleged theft of self-driving automobile technology trade secret information from his former employer and misappropriation of the trade secrets in forming a competing company that was later purchased by Uber Technologies Inc., according to briefing filed by government prosecutors on March 19 in California federal court (United States v. Anthony Scott Levandowski, No. 19-cr-377, N.D. Calif.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California issued guidance to parties in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit on March 5, ruling that once an operator of a home design website reasserts its previously dismissed copyright claims in a separate lawsuit, the newly filed lawsuit would be “related to, and consolidated with, the trade secret claims still pending” in the instant action (UAB “Planner 5D” v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 19-3132, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38524).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) acting inspector general has been charged with stealing proprietary software, source code and other information from the DHS containing, among other things, the personally identifiable information (PII) of employees of the DHS and U.S. Postal Service to create software to be sold to the Department of Agriculture, according to an indictment unsealed March 6 in District of Columbia federal court (United States v. Charles Kumar Edwards, et al., No. 20-cr-66, D. D.C.).
LOS ANGELES — A company that develops healthy food and wellbeing services for corporations sued a former employee in California federal court on March 16, alleging that the defendant breached the terms of her employment agreement and misappropriated the company’s trade secrets in violation of state and federal trade secret laws by downloading the company’s trade secret information to her personal computer before accepting a position with an industry competitor (Oh My Green Inc. v. Selena Senora Cuffe, No. 20-2509, C.D. Calif.).
WICHITA FALLS, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on March 17 ruled that although an aerial application systems and components manufacturer’s breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition claims against its former business partner are preempted by its Texas state law trade secret misappropriation claim, the court still has personal jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s remaining misappropriation and breach of contract claims (Texas Transland LLC v. Davidon Inc., No. 19-129, N.D. Texas, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45676).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on March 13 ruled that an attorney is entitled to summary judgment on claims that she misappropriated a former client’s trade secret information when she filed a breach of warranty lawsuit against her former client on behalf of another plaintiff using the former client’s case files because the former client failed to show that it owned or kept the case files it alleged she misappropriated confidential (FCA US LLC v. Patrea Bullock, No. 17-13972, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43632).
BOSTON — A technology company’s former employee breached the terms of his employment agreements by providing the company’s proprietary set of algorithms used in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) to Facebook Inc. in violation of state and federal trade secret laws, the company alleges in a March 4 complaint filed in Massachusetts federal court (Neural Magic Inc. v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 20-10444, D. Mass.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on March 12 ruled that a financial services firm has sufficiently shown that a former employee misappropriated its “secret sauce” trade secrets for its confidential and proprietary trading models when he downloaded protected files written by himself and other employees and sent the trade secrets to his personal email account before accepting a position with an industry competitor (KCG Holdings Inc., et al. v. Rohit Khandekar, No. 17-3533, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44298).
SHERMAN, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on March 12 ruled that a former employee of a subsidiary of Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and current employer are entitled to attorney fees and costs in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit because the judge entered a take-nothing judgment for both sides and, thus, the defendants were not a prevailing party (Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., et al. v. Yiren Ronnie Huang, et al., No. 17-0893, E.D. Texas).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 25 dismissed an appeal in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit filed by a third-party logistics company against a former employee and industry competitor, ruling that the expiration of a six-month noncompete restriction that was part of a preliminary injunction has ended, making any attempt at relief as to that part of the injunction order impossible (Radiant Global Logistics Inc. v. Charles Furstenau Jr., et al., No. 19-1297, 6th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 5666).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A cannabidiol-based (CBD) products manufacturer’s former customer has failed to show that the manufacturer’s state and federal trade secret law claims are insufficient and should be dismissed because both the “legal and jurisdictional grounds” for the plaintiff’s claims “arise out of” the defendant’s allegedly tortious conduct, the manufacturer argues in a March 3 opposition brief filed in Florida federal court (Healthcare Resources Management Group LLC v EcoNatura All Healthy World LLC, et al., No. 19-81700, S.D. Fla.).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal jury in Florida on March 3 awarded a technology company $5.7 million in damages after finding that the company had proven that its industry competitor had misappropriated its trade secrets to develop identical systems to those developed by the plaintiff (Financial Information Technologies Inc. v. iControl Systems USA LLC, No. 17-190, M.D. Fla.).
CHICAGO — A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on Feb. 28 ruled that defendants in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by a stored energy solutions provider are entitled to limited monetary sanctions covering half of the reasonable attorney fees incurred by the defendants as a result of the plaintiff’s failure to properly collect documents and its issuance of misleading responses to other discovery requests (LiiON LLC v. Vertiv Group Corp., et al., No. 18-6133, N.D. Ill.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A group of related Chinese companies that argue that they are “instrumentalities of a foreign state” and immune from criminal prosecution under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976 (FSIA) on Feb. 26 asked the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to find that a federal district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the U.S. government’s criminal action against them stemming from their alleged scheme to conspire with others to steal trade secrets from E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (United States v. Pangang Group Co. Ltd., et al., No. 19-10306, 9th Cir.).
A Chinese national and former associate scientist with a U.S. petroleum company was sentenced on Feb. 27 to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution in connection his alleged theft of more than $1 billion in proprietary and trade secret information from his former employer, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release (United States v. Hongjin Tan, No. 19-cr-9, N.D. Okla.).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Feb. 24 ruled that a company has failed to show that there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of its claims for trade secret misappropriation under state and federal law because although it has identified its trade secrets, it has failed to show that its co-founder and an industry competitor misappropriated those trade secrets in filing a patent application (Javo Beverage Co. Inc. v. California Extraction Ventures Inc., et al., No. 19-1859, S.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31167).