Mealey's Trade Secret

  • December 13, 2019

    Summary Judgment Granted On IP Use Contract Breach, Trade Secret Claims

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware Superior Court judge on Dec. 10 ruled in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit that a genomic services company was on inquiry notice that a former customer had allegedly violated the terms of a product access agreement when it continued to use the and access the plaintiff’s intellectual property (IP) more than three years before filing its lawsuit (Ocimum Biosolutions (India) Limited, et al. v. AstraZeneca UK Limited, No. N15C-08-168, Del. Super.).

  • December 12, 2019

    SaaS Provider’s Contract Breach, Misappropriation Claims Survive Dismissal Bid

    BOISE, Idaho — A federal judge in Idaho on Nov. 25 ruled that a “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) provider has sufficiently shown that a federal district court has subject matter jurisdiction over its claims against a former employee in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit because the amount-in-controversy requirement has been met and the plain language of an arbitration clause contained in the defendant’s employment agreement allows for the provider to bring the lawsuit seeking injunctive relief (NAVEX Global Inc. v. Richard A. Stockwell Jr., No. 19-382, D. Idaho, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206814).

  • December 12, 2019

    Timely Trade Secret Misappropriation Claims Survive Dismissal Bid

    SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Dec. 2 ruled that a company’s state and federal trade secret misappropriation law claims against its former employee and a competitor are not time-barred because no evidence exists at this stage in the litigation showing that the company was aware, or should have been aware, that the defendants’ publication of a patent application itself constituted the necessary constructive notice of the alleged misappropriation (Javo Beverage Co. Inc. v. California Extraction Ventures Inc., et al., No. 19-1859, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207483).

  • December 10, 2019

    Home Security Provider Sues Former Exec For Trade Secret Misappropriation

    PITTSBURGH — A home security provider sued its former director of operations and an industry competitor and its president in Pennsylvania federal court on Dec. 6, alleging that the former employee stole its trade secrets and intends to sell the trade secrets and confidential information to the competitor in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (S.V.B. Associates Inc. v. Robert J. Lomb, et al., No. 19-1575, W.D. Pa.).

  • December 10, 2019

    Engineered Wood Product Manufacturer’s TRO Request Against Former Exec Granted

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Dec. 6 granted in part and denied in part an engineered wood product manufacturer’s motion for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against a former executive, enjoining the defendant from any future dissemination of the manufacturer’s confidential and trade secret information (Pacific Woodtech Corp. v. Daniel Semsak, No. 19-1984, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 210880).

  • December 09, 2019

    Mortgage Lender Names Former Employee, Competitor In Trade Secret Dispute

    FRESNO, Calif. — A mortgage lender sued a former employee and its direct competitor in California federal court on Dec. 5, alleging that the defendants misappropriated its confidential and trade secret customer client lists in an attempt to solicit business away from the lender in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (Karpe Mortgage Inc. v. Steven Taylor Nettles, No. 19-883, E.D. Calif.).

  • December 06, 2019

    Magistrate: Heating Element Maker’s Trade Secret Claims Are Sufficiently Pleaded

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A manufacturer of heating elements for items such as household appliances has sufficiently stated the elements of its state and federal trade secret misappropriation claims against a competitor that it alleges improperly obtained its confidential and trade secret information pertaining to heating elements the manufacturer designed for client Whirlpool Inc. under the terms of a supply agreement and a mutual nondisclosure agreement (NDA), a federal magistrate judge in Delaware said in a Dec. 5 report and recommendation (Zoppas Industries de Mexico S.A. de C.V. v. Backer EHP Inc., No. 18-1693, D. Del., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 209455).

  • December 04, 2019

    Company Misappropriated Cocaine-Based Anesthetic Trade Secrets, Drug Maker Says

    PHILADELPHIA — A specialty pharmaceutical company sued its former business partner on Nov. 29 in a Pennsylvania federal court, alleging that the defendant misappropriated the company’s trade secret information pertaining to its cocaine hydrochloride 4 percent solution product and allowed the company’s competitors to use the information in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Genus Lifesciences Inc. v. Mallinckrodt LLC, et al., No. 19-5403, E.D. Pa.).

  • December 04, 2019

    Pennsylvania Federal Judge Enjoins Petitions For Trademark Cancellation

    PITTSBURGH — A trademark infringement counterclaimant on Dec. 3 won a preliminary injunction barring a false advertising plaintiff from prosecuting a petition to cancel “The Big Switch” and “Big Switch” trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) (Mazcon v. BEG Group LLC, et al., No. 19-40, W.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207942).

  • December 03, 2019

    Certification Of Order Denying Dismissal Motion For DTSA Claim Denied

    ST. LOUIS — A federal magistrate judge in Missouri on Nov. 27 rejected a motion filed by defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit to certify a previous ruling for interlocutory review, holding that the earlier ruling denying dismissal of a claim for violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) “does not involve a controlling question of law appropriate for” such an appeal (Roeslein & Associates Inc., et al. v. Thomas Elgin, et al., No. 17-1351, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205720).

  • December 02, 2019

    Former Broker-Dealer Employee Denied Summary Judgment On Trade Secret Claims

    TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on Nov. 25 ruled that a former CEO and consultant of related securities broker-dealers is not entitled to summary judgment on claims for violation of state and federal trade secret laws because a genuine issue of material fact exists as to whether the alleged trade secrets he is alleged to have misappropriated, in fact, constitute trade secrets (Hurry Family Revocable Trust, et al. v. Christopher Frankel, No. 18-2869, M.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203773).

  • December 02, 2019

    Federal Judge Rejects UCL, Sherman Act Counterclaims In Trade Secret Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California on Nov. 26 granted a medical technology company’s motion to strike and/or dismiss counterclaims under the Sherman Act and California’s unfair competition law (UCL) in its lawsuit alleging that a company used its confidential, proprietary and trade secret information to develop a line of spectral flow cytometers (Becton, Dickinson and Company v. Cytek Biosciences Inc., et al., No. 18-00933, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 205465).

  • November 26, 2019

    Judge Orders ‘Closed’ Response To Interrogatory In Patent, Trade Secret Dispute

    AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Nov. 21 ruled that a company that develops self-inflating tire technology is required to supply a “closed” response to an interrogatory filed by defendants in a patent inventorship and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit describing in sufficient detail what trade secrets were alleged orally disclosed to the defendants in two 2009 meetings set up to discuss the parties’ potential partnership in the commercialization of the plaintiff’s technology (CODA Development s.r.o., et al. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, et al., No. 15-1572, N.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202114).

  • November 26, 2019

    Copyright, Trade Secret Claims Against Facebook, Princeton Deemed Insufficient

    SAN FRANCISCO — Dismissal of state and federal trade secret law claims brought against Facebook and one of its affiliates and the trustees of Princeton University is warranted because a home design website developer has failed to sufficiently show that it took reasonable steps to protect secrecy of its data files, which were publicly available on the website, a federal judge in California ruled Nov. 21 (UAB “Planner 5D” v. Facebook Inc., et al., No. 19-3132, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 203618).

  • November 22, 2019

    Oil Field Service Provider’s DTSA Claim Survives Defendants’ Dismissal Bid

    MARSHALL, Texas — A federal judge in Texas on Nov. 20 accepted a federal magistrate judge’s report and recommendation that he deny three motions to dismiss filed by defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by an oil field service company that alleged that the defendants provided its trade secrets for its solid drilling waste management operation processes to a competitor in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (Scott Environmental Services Inc. v. Newfield Exploration Co., et al., No. 19-26, E.D. Texas).

  • November 22, 2019

    Tech Company Sued For 2nd Time Over Alleged Trade Secret Misuse

    SAN DIEGO — A provider of high-speed integrated optical interconnect modules was hit with a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit by a former business partner on Nov. 6 in California state court, alleging that the defendant’s continued use of the plaintiff’s trade secrets in its products has resulted in further damages to the plaintiff’s business (Viasat Inc. v. Acacia Communications Inc., No. 37-2019-00060731-CB-BC-NC, Calif. Super., San Diego Co.).

  • November 21, 2019

    Baseball Pitching Methodology Trade Secrets Survive Summary Judgment Attempt

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Nov. 19 ruled that the owner of trade secrets pertaining to a unique baseball pitching methodology has sufficiently alleged that his methodology was a protectable trade secret that he took reasonable efforts to maintain and that the operator of a competing business misappropriated those trade secrets after receiving the information while attending one of the plaintiff’s camps (Neiman Nix v. Kyle Boddy, et al., No. 18-992, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200702).

  • November 20, 2019

    Claims In Trade Secret Dispute Dismissed On Jurisdictional Grounds

    SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Nov. 15 ruled that he lacks personal jurisdiction over defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit brought by the operator of a soccer academy that focuses on international study-abroad education programs between the United States and Italy because the plaintiff failed to sufficiently show that personal jurisdiction can be found under the three-part test for establishing specific jurisdiction (OSA Soccer Academy LLC v. College Life Italia, et al., No. 19-209, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199013).

  • November 19, 2019

    Tech Company Alleges That Former Employees Took Trade Secrets To Competitor

    SAN FRANCISCO — A technology company and its subsidiary sued three former employees in California federal court on Nov. 18, alleging that the defendants misappropriated its confidential and trade secret information for several of its products and used the information after departing to work for a competitor in violation of state and federal trade secret laws (Cisco Systems Inc. v. Wilson Chung, et al., No. 19-7562, N.D. Calif.).

  • November 19, 2019

    Plaintiff In Trade Secrets Dispute Argues Against Rule 37 Sanctions

    CHICAGO — Rule 37 sanctions are not warranted in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against a former customer of a stored energy solutions provider that is alleged to have breached the terms of a contract between the parties by using the provider’s trade secrets in marketing its product line without the provider’s permission and without paying the necessary royalties for the usage, the provider argues in a Nov. 14 opposition brief filed in Illinois federal court (LiiON LLC v. Vertiv Group Corp., et al., No. 18-6133, N.D. Ill.).