IP and Sovereign Immunity: Why You Can’t Always Sue for IP Infringement

3 02 2018

The overlap between sovereign immunity and IP issues is not something that comes up all of the time. However, when it does, the impact of the immunity can be significant. The law for certain matters, such as lawsuits in Federal court, is fairly well resolved. However, its application when new procedures are made available, such as for IPRs which were established in 2012, has provided new challenges and opportunities… So can the Federal or State government be sued for infringement under Federal patent, trademark, or copyright law? The answer often depends on the particular facts and specific legal issues of a dispute. That said, in most cases the answer is Yes for the U.S. Government and No for states and Tribal Nations, unless they have taken a specific action to waive immunity for that matter. A brief summary follows.

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The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2018/02/01/ip-infringement-sovereign-immunity/id=93050/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Webinar Recap! 2017 National Year In Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Law

27 01 2018

In Seyfarth’s first webinar in its 2018 Trade Secrets Webinar Series, Seyfarth attorneys Michael Wexler, Robert Milligan, and Joshua Salinas presented 2017 National Year In Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete, and Computer Fraud Law. The panel reviewed noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation over the last year in the areas of trade secrets and data theft, non-competes and other restrictive covenants, and computer fraud. Plus, they provided their predictions for what to watch for in 2018.

As a conclusion to this well-received webinar, we compiled a summary of takeaways:

  • While the Defend Trade Secrets Act provides for an ex parte seizure order, courts have been very unwilling to provide such relief except in extraordinary circumstances.
  • In light of recent state laws and appellate court decisions at both the federal and state level in 2017, choice of venue and choice of law provisions must be carefully considered and strategically implemented.
  • The ABA’s May 4, 2017, Ethics Opinion encourages lawyers to have an open exchange of communication with their clients about the securities measures their firms are taking to safeguard the clients’ confidential information.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2018/01/articles/trade-secrets/webinar-recap-2017-national-year-in-review-what-you-need-to-know-about-the-recent-cases-developments-in-trade-secrets-non-compete-and-computer-fraud-law/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Ninth Circuit Issues Important Decision on Software Licensing Practices and Web Scraping

25 01 2018

Proskauer

1-24-18

Jeffrey Neuburger

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit issued a noteworthy ruling in a dispute between an enterprise software licensor and a third-party support provider.  The case is particularly important as it addresses the common practice of using automated means to download information (in this case, software) from websites in contravention of website terms and conditions.  Also, the case examines and interprets fairly “standard” software licensing language in light of evolving business practices in the software industry. (Oracle USA, Inc. v. Rimini Street, Inc., No. 16-16832 (9th Cir. Jan. 8, 2018)).

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The content in this post was found at https://newmedialaw.proskauer.com/2018/01/24/ninth-circuit-issues-important-decision-on-software-licensing-practices-and-web-scraping/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Google Extends Commitments with the FTC over Crawling of Third-Party Content for Use in Own “Vertical” Sites

23 01 2018

In a blog post last month, Google announced that it would extend certain commitments it made to the FTC in 2012 that were set to expire relating to, among other things,  the scraping of third-party content for use on certain Google “vertical search” properties such as Google Shopping.  The announcement came days before the commitments were set to expire on December 27th and months after Yelp had claimed that Google was not living up to its promises by allegedly scraping Yelp local business photos for use in certain Google results (e.g., local business listings).

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The content in this post was found at https://newmedialaw.proskauer.com/2018/01/22/google-extends-commitments-with-the-ftc-over-crawling-of-third-party-content-for-use-in-own-vertical-sites/and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Enlisting Government Help to Protect Your Trade Secrets

5 01 2018

“I’m from the government and I’m here to help.” Yeah, right.[1]

Most businesses think protecting their intellectual property is their own responsibility, and it is. But what about when your intellectual property rights are violated by an evildoer? Who are you going to call? While your obvious choice will be the law firm sponsoring this blog, you might also be able to get help from your local prosecutor.

Both State Attorneys General and Federal Prosecutors have tools at their disposal that let them bring the full force of the government to your side—when they are motivated to do so. Speaking at a State Fraud & Prevention Summit in Atlanta recently, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr announced how his office is available to take action on cybersecurity and data breach fraud cases, and he even pointed to several Assistant AGs in the audience who were there and ready to help.[2] Carr said his state’s emphasis on protecting data privacy and security is enhanced by the U.S. Army recently announcing that its new Cyber Command Headquarters (ARCYBER) will be located in Georgia.[3] Other states have similarly dedicated AGs ready to help, and sometimes you can even get local prosecutors to take interest in your case.

At the federal level, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has a “Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section” (CCIPS) specifically devoted to combating white collar computer and intellectual property crimes. Indeed, the DOJ  has several statutes at its disposal to combat such crimes. They include the Economic Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1831, the Theft of Trade Secrets Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1832, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1030, and the new Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”). These laws provide punishments that include fines in the millions of dollars (which can be a multiple of the value of trade secrets stolen) and prison sentences ranging from 10–20 years to life under certain circumstances.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2017/04/articles/intellectual-property/enlisting-government-help-to-protect-your-trade-secrets/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



The Extraterritorial Reach of U.S. Trade Secret Law

4 01 2018

The current extraterritorial reach of U.S. trade secret law may seem ironic given trade secret law’s “local” roots. In the United States, common law trade secret principles emerged through a diverse patchwork of state court decisions addressing local commercial disputes. These local common law principles were first distilled in the Restatement of Torts and the Restatement of Unfair Competition and then codified in the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in 1979. Underscoring the local prerogative of trade secret law, state legislatures modified and tailored the Uniform Trade Secrets Act to reflect their state-specific concerns and needs. For many years, despite a push for national uniformity, a number of states chose not to adopt a statutory scheme at all (some still haven’t).

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The content in this post was found at http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2017/05/30/ready-to-use-the-extraterritorial-reach-of-u-s-trade-secret-law/id=83698/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Illinois Federal Court Allows Inevitable Disclosure Theory in Defend Trade Secrets Act Case

3 01 2018

On May 11, 2017, a Northern District of Illinois federal court ruled that a Plaintiff properly alleged misappropriation under both the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (ITSA) in a case where the employee downloaded files onto a personal thumb drive and then went to a competitor.

 

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The content in this post was found at https://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2017/06/articles/dtsa/illinois-federal-court-allows-inevitable-disclosure-theory-in-defend-trade-secrets-act-case/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



How To Address Wipers In Trade Secret Cases

2 01 2018


As a special feature of our blog—special guest postings by experts, clients, and other professionals—please enjoy this blog entry from Bobby R. Williams, Jr., a senior consultant at iDiscovery Solutions.

When litigation looms or a data preservation notice is sent out, key individuals or parties might try to delete data to avoid discovery – despite well-publicized horror stories regarding data destruction, phone and email wiping, and the risks of spoliation and sanctions. In many cases, if we find an absence of evidence during an examination, we typically also find evidence of destruction. We refer to these individuals as “Wipers.”

Wipers are the folks who roll the dice and try to game the system. They have enough knowledge to know how to destroy data, feel like they can get away with it, and take a chance. “The document is gone, aha!” might say the Wiper. However, Wipers still run into problems they didn’t anticipate. Even if they manage to delete or destroy the incriminating document or email, they’ve usually taken the time to install and run data destruction software, leaving behind associated artifacts showing the download and usage of such software. Another thing Wipers usually don’t consider: they leave behind other artifacts and data that gives us a clear picture of the document. Data showing when the document was created or modified, the folder it was saved in, even who opened it, when, and how many times. In trying to cover up the original footprints, they invariably left new footprints. And sometimes, even when a Wiper believes they completely deleted the document itself, it sometimes resides in a snapshot or backup they did not see.

 

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The content in this post was found at https://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2017/08/articles/trade-secrets/how-to-address-wipers-in-trade-secret-cases/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Now Available! 2017-2018 Edition of the Trade Secrets and Non-Competes 50 State Desktop Reference

2 01 2018

50 State Desktop Reference: What Businesses Need to Know About Non-Compete and Trade Secret Law

It has been an extraordinary year regarding trade secret and non-compete issues. We saw more and more cases filed in federal court asserting claims under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) and for alleged violations of non-competes. Some states passed legislation further narrowing the use of non-compete agreements, and some media outlets, academics, and regulators have continued their criticism of such agreements. We expect over the next year, the law to continue to develop regarding the DTSA’s application, definitions, scope, limitations, benefits and interpretation with regard to the immunity provisions. Our 50 State Desktop Reference is a useful guide to know how the law is currently applied in each state.

Seyfarth’s Trade Secrets, Computer Fraud and Non-Competes Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2017-2018 Edition of our one-stop 50 State Desktop Reference, which surveys the most-asked questions related to the use of covenants and intellectual capital protection in all 50 states. For the company executive, in-house counsel, or HR professional, we hope this guide will provide a starting point to answer your questions about protecting your company’s most valuable and confidential assets.

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The content in this post was found at http://www.seyfarth.com/dir_docs/publications/50-State-Desktop-Reference-(2017-2018).pdf and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.



Are My Customer Lists a Trade Secret?

31 12 2017

A lawyer’s favorite phrase might be “it depends.” And when an employer asks whether its customer lists qualify as a trade secret, “it depends” is often the answer. But even if it’s difficult to definitively state whether customer lists qualify as a trade secret, the converse—whether customer lists might not constitute a trade secret—can be helpful to assessing how much protection a court will provide.

With the advent of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), no state categorically denies trade-secrets status to customer lists. That’s because the default definition of a “trade secret” under the UTSA includes compilations of information, and several states modified the default definition to explicitly include customer lists as potential trade secrets. See, e.g., Conn Gen. Stat. § 35-51(d); O.C.G.A. § 10-1-761(4); Or. Rev. Stat. § 646.461(4); 12 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5302. Other states opted to mention that a “listing of names, addresses, or telephone numbers” may qualify as a trade secret if the listing, like any trade secret, has independent economic value because it is not readily ascertainable and is subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.  See, e.g., Co. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 7-74-102(4); Oh. Rev. Code Ann. § 1333.61(D).

States still, however, apply varying degrees of scrutiny before conceding that customer lists constitute a trade secret. In more skeptical jurisdictions, courts decline to confer trade-secrets status on customer lists for one of three reasons.

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The content in this post was found at https://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2017/04/articles/trade-secrets/are-my-customer-lists-a-trade-secret/ and was not authored by the moderators of freeforafee.com. Clicking the title link will take you to the source of the post.