FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A technology company and its CEO failed to sufficiently state their state and federal trade secret law claims against former business partners because they did not allege that any reasonable steps were taken by the plaintiffs to restrict the business partners’ access or use of protected data, a federal judge in Florida ruled April 19 (Armen A. Temurian, et al. v. Phillip A. Piccolo Jr., et al., No. 18-62737, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 67469).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government, a newspaper and a retailer trade association offered arguments about the necessity of demonstrating likely harm from the disclosure of information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) before the U.S. Supreme Court on April 22, disputing whether assurances of confidentiality and assertions of trade secrets are sufficient to invoke an exemption to the act (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup.).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Reconsideration of a federal district court’s order denying a motion filed by a manufacturer of coal washing water recycling machinery and equipment for leave to amend its complaint in a trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract lawsuit is unwarranted because the plaintiff has failed to allege any newly discovered evidence that would support such a ruling, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled April 18 (Phoenix Process Equipment Co. v. Capital Equipment & Trading Corp., et al., No. 16-0024, W.D. Ky., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66165).
NEW YORK — A company sued its competitor in the translation services industry in New York federal court on April 11, alleging that the competitor acquired its trade secret “under false pretenses” and misappropriated those trade secrets in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and New York common law in an effort to compete with the company (TransPerfect Global Inc. v. Lionbridge Technologies Inc., et al., No. 19-3283, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on April 16 held that an insurance company and its parent holding company have sufficiently stated a plausible claim for violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) against Marsh USA Inc. in arguing that Marsh allegedly used the company’s trade secrets to enter into an agreement with The Boeing Co. for an airline finance insurance consortium (AFIC) similar to the one the insurance company had developed (Xavian Insurance Co., et al v. Marsh & McLennan Companies Inc., et al., No. 18-8273, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65067).
CHICAGO — Stating that there has already been “enough discovery . . . to choke a horse” in a dispute over two-way radio technology between Motorola Solutions Inc. and a Chinese firm, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on April 15 denied Motorola’s motion to compel discovery related to a product that he found was outside the scope of the trade secret and copyright claims at issue (Motorola Solutions Inc. v. Hytera Communications Corp., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01973, N.D. Ill.; 20192019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64005).
BALTIMORE — A federal judge in Maryland on April 16 ruled that a webinar and conferencing services provider’s breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against its former employee must be heard in New York federal court under the first-to-file rule (Intellor Group Inc. v. Brian J. Cicero, No. 19-0010, D. Md., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62541).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on April 15 ruled that a research and development company has adequately stated its trade secret misappropriation claims against the American subsidiary of a Japanese developer of “chemical products and technologies,” rejecting the subsidiary’s argument that the company failed to plead the claim with the necessary particularity (Developmental Technologies LLC v. Mitsui Chemicals Inc., et al., No. 18-1582, M.D. Fla.).
PORTLAND, Ore. — A federal judge in Oregon on April 12 ruled that although a maker of guitar pedals has failed to adequately state a claim for relief for violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), it has sufficiently shown what trade secrets four of its former employees allegedly misappropriated in their attempt to form a competing company after the death of the guitar pedal maker’s owner to support its Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) claim (Catalinbread LLC v. Howard Gee., et al., No. 18-1795, D. Ore., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63122).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on April 11 ruled that a provider of “online, printable and grocery” coupons has failed to plausibly state its claim for trade secret misappropriation pursuant to the Illinois Trade Secret Act (ITSA) against a competitor who is alleged to have taken coupon codes from the plaintiff’s website and provided the codes on its own website (CouponCabin Inc. v. PriceTrace LLC, No. 18-7525, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62438).
LOS ANGELES — A California trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a company’s request for statutory exemplary damages in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit because the company was judicially estopped from arguing that the trial court should apply the exemplary damages provision of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) to the entirety of the damages it was awarded by the jury on both its CUTSA and common-law claims, a California appellate panel ruled April 9 in an unpublished opinion (Pine Valley Inc. v. Ajinomoto North America Inc., et al., No. B282443, Calif. App., 2nd Dist., Div. 4, 2019 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2469).
CHICAGO — A federal judge in Illinois on April 9 ruled that dismissal of counterclaims for a declaration that a former customer of a stored energy solutions provider did not misappropriate the provider’s trade secrets or breach any contract between the parties is not warranted, following the reasoning provided by another federal district court within the Seventh Circuit (LiiON LLC v. Vertiv Group Corp., et al., No. 18-6133, N.D. Ill., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60705).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on April 5 ruled that although plaintiffs have sufficiently shown that the court has subject matter jurisdiction over their claims for declaratory relief under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), those claims are mooted by the defendants’ release and disclaimer of any intention to file any claims against the defendants under the CFAA or DTSA (Beth Westburg, et al. v. Good Life Advisors LLC, et al., No. 18-0248, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60179).
ST. LOUIS — A federal district court did not err in granting a defendant’s motion for summary judgment in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit because a company was on inquiry notice that the defendant was potentially misappropriating he company’s trade secrets in 2002 and failed to file its lawsuit within the statute of limitations, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled April 4 in affirming (CMI Roadbuilding Inc. v. Iowa Parts Inc., No. 18-1075, 8th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 9951).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its April 5 merits reply brief, a food retailer trade association asks the U.S. Supreme Court to find that a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemption for confidential trade secret and financial information permits the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to withhold store-specific data from a FOIA request without having to establish that “substantial competitive harm” would occur from disclosure (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup.).
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — A North Carolina judge on April 2 ruled that a franchisor partly failed to allege elements of its claim for trade secret misappropriation under North Carolina law against a franchisee and others with the required particularity and partially dismissed the claim (Window Gang Ventures Corp. v. Gabriel Salinas, et al., No. 18 CVS 107, N.C. Super., 2019 NCBC LEXIS 24).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A federal judge in California on April 1 ruled that an autonomous vehicle developer has sufficiently shown that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its trade secret misappropriation claims against a former employee, its competitor and a related company and has shown good cause for expedited discovery (WeRide Corp., et al. v. Kun Huang, et al., No. 18-7233, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55996).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on April 1 held that a federal judge did not err in preliminarily enjoining franchisees from operating or taking part in any business that competes with or is similar to an ice cream parlor franchise with which the franchisees had franchise agreements based on the franchisor’s claim for trade secret misappropriation because the franchisor demonstrated a strong likelihood of success on the merits of its trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract claims (Handel’s Enterprises Inc. v. Kenneth S. Schulenburg, et al., No. 18-3596, 6th Cir.).
OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal judge in Oklahoma on March 29 ruled that although a water management solutions provider and its subsidiaries have failed to sufficiently show that they owned a trade secret for which they are alleging that several of their former employees and their current employer misappropriated, they have sufficiently pleaded their Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) claim regarding all other confidential and trade secrets the defendants are alleged to have misappropriated (Select Energy Services Inc., et al. v. Mammoth Energy Services Inc., et al., No. 19-28, W.D. Okla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53623).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 1 granted a motion by the U.S. solicitor general to participate in upcoming oral arguments over the trade secrets and confidential information exemption to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), giving the government 10 minutes to argue as amicus curiae in support of a food retailer trade group opposing the release of certain store-specific data in response to an FOIA request (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup.).