WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S. Supreme Court majority on June 24 ruled that invoking a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption regarding the disclosure of trade secrets and confidential information requires only a showing that the information was treated as confidential by the parties involved and does not require a showing of “substantial-competitive-harm” (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup., 2019 U.S. LEXIS 4200).
BOSTON — A semiconductor company’s former design engineer was hit with a 15-count indictment in Massachusetts federal court on June 11 on charges that he stole certain of the company’s trade secrets and confidential information for its monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) and used the trade secrets to develop products for a competing company he and his wife formed (United States of America v. Haoyang Yu, et al., No. 19-cr-10195, D. Mass.).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on June 10 dismissed a trade secrets lawsuit because the plaintiffs made conclusory allegations and failed to show inducement by a competitor to breach a customer contract (Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp., et al. v. Jennifer Shelly Hulsey, et al., No. 18-1573, M.D. Fla., Orlando Div., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96966).
LOS ANGELES — A prepared seafood processing company and its subsidiary sued a competitor formed by two of its former employees in California federal court on June 11, alleging that the competitor misappropriated its trade secrets and used the information to poach one of its largest customers from it in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (High Liner Foods [USA] Inc., et al. v. Haven Foods LLC, No. 19-5060, C.D. Calif.).
PHILADELPHIA — In a nonprecedential opinion, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 4 vacated a federal district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit, ruling that defendants were denied due process when the lower court issued the injunction without providing sufficient notice to them (Corporate Synergies Group LLC v. Gregory Andrews, et al., No. 18-3246, 3rd Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 18187).
FRESNO, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 18 ruled that dismissal of a state law claim for trade secret misappropriation is not appropriate based on individuals’ roles as agents of the plaintiff’s direct competitor, rejecting the defendants’ argument that the plaintiff failed to sufficiently show that the competitor acquired its trade secrets from someone other than the plaintiff itself (Deerpoint Group Inc. v. Agrigenix LLC, No. 18-536, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101908).
HOUSTON — A federal jury in Texas on June 14 awarded a digital marketing firm nearly $288,000 in a verdict against the firm’s former employee and a competitor in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract lawsuit, much less than the over $50 million the firm sought (Six Dimensions Inc. v. Perficient Inc., et al., No. 17-2680, S.D. Texas).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A federal judge in California on June 17 ruled that a technology company has failed to sufficiently show that Apple Inc. engaged in unfair competition under California common law when it allegedly infringed on the company’s patented technology and intellectual property to develop its “Emergency SOS” product for its Apple devices because the claim is preempted by federal patent law and is superseded by the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) (Zomm LLC v. Apple Inc., No. 18-4969, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 101029).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court on June 14 conditionally granted a company’s petition for mandamus regarding a lawsuit against it for misappropriation of trade secrets, ruling that the appeals court “clearly abused its discretion” when it authorized a trial court to conduct proceedings in violation of a legislatively mandated stay (In re: Geomet Recycling LLC, et al., No. 18-0443, Texas Sup., 2019 Tex. LEXIS 578).
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — A federal judge in Tennessee on June 10 ruled that a Chinese woman indicted by the U.S. government for conspiracy to steal trade secrets should be retained until trial because she poses a flight risk (United States v. Xiaorong You, No. 10-CR-14, E.D. Tenn., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96776).
ROCKFORD, Ill. — A federal judge in Illinois on June 10 ruled that a developer and manufacturer of dispensers and closures for use in the packaging of consumer goods has sufficiently alleged the existence of a trade secret, as well as misappropriation under the “inevitable disclosure” doctrine, in alleging that its former employee violated state and federal trade secret laws after accepting a similar position with a competitor (AptarGroup Inc. v. Brenda Chamulak, No. 18-50328, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96903).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A federal judge in Kansas on June 7 ruled that he lacks subject matter jurisdiction over a company’s amended complaint for breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation because the company failed to state any federal claim against its former employees and its state law claims do not “implicate a substantial question of federal law” (Edelman Financial Services LLC v. Erik Harpsoe, et al., No. 19-2026, D. Kan., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95918).
SAN FRANCISCO — In a June 5 complaint in California federal court, a technology and research company in the Republic of Lithuania sued Facebook Inc. and Princeton University for purportedly misappropriating its trade secrets related to scene recognition technology and the area of virtual reality (UAB “Planner5D” v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 3:19-cv-03132, N.D. Calif.).
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia on June 4 ruled that a company sufficiently identified trade secrets that its minority owner and former president and director allegedly misappropriated, denying in part the defendant’s motion to dismiss state and federal trade secret law claims against him (Oros Inc. v. Jamal Dajani, No. 19-351, E.D. Va., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93652).
SHERMAN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on June 6 allowed a damages expert’s opinions and reports in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit after finding that his methods of calculation are reliable (Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., et al. v. Yiren Ronnie Huang, et al., No. 17-0893, E.D. Texas, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94702).
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 5 ruled that a federal district court did not abuse its discretion in granting a preliminary injunction in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit because the plaintiff has sufficiently shown that its former employees’ alleged trade secret misappropriation in creating a competing company would impair the company’s “good will and reputation” (ExpertConnect LLC v. Dipali Parmar, et al., No. 18-2261, 2nd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on June 4 ruled that a defense contractor’s former employee failed to sufficiently plead his claim for trade secret misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secret Act (DTSA), agreeing with the defense contractor’s argument that his allegations are unsupported “legal conclusions” that are not actionable under the statute (Neil Zaccari v. Apprio Inc., No. 18-1560, D.C. Dist., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92753).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on May 30 adopted an expert adviser’s report and recommendation filed by a company in a trade secret misappropriation and copyright infringement lawsuit, granting in part and denying in part the company’s request for spoliation sanctions and remedial measures based on a defendant’s destruction of a former employees’ emails during the course of the litigation (J.S.T. Corp. v. Robert Bosch LLC, et al., No. 15-13842, E.D. Mich., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90431).
AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Supreme Court review of a state appellate panel’s rendering of judgment and denial of jurisdictional discovery in favor of a defendant on claims that it misappropriated an oil and gas exploration company’s trade secrets is necessary because the company is subject to jurisdiction in Texas, a petitioner argues in a May 28 petition for writ of certiorari filed in the state Supreme Court (Antero Resources Corp. v. EnerQuest Oil & Gas LLC, No. 19-0455, Texas Sup.).
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on May 28 declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a medical and janitorial supply manufacturer’s trade secret misappropriation and other state law claims against its former vice president of sales and others after determining that the plaintiff failed to sufficiently plead its federal claim for violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (Dynarex Corp. v. Richard Farrah, et al., No. 18-7082, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89048).