Archives: Non-Disclosure and Confidentiality Agreements

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Trade Secrets – Courts Won’t Protect You If You Don’t Protect Yourself!

A decision from the Northern District of Illinois is the latest to reiterate a stern warning we have long highlighted for employers: when insufficient steps are taken by an employer to protect its own proprietary information, courts will not provide trade secret protection when such information is misappropriated. In Abrasic 90 Inc. v. Weldcote Metals, … Continue Reading

A Protocol On Life Support – Financial Industry Assesses The Aftermath Of Major Defections From Broker Recruitment Pact

In the fourth quarter of 2017, two major financial firms dropped out of an industry-wide Protocol for Broker Recruiting (the “Protocol”), an agreement designed to reduce litigation surrounding the movement of stockbrokers between competing firms. While those departures do not necessarily seal the fate of the Protocol, they do portend an increase in litigation to … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Declines To Review Password Sharing Prosecution Under Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Our Workplace Privacy, E-Communication and Data Security Practice Group recently posted this article regarding the United States Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari in Nosal v. Unites States, 16-1344.  This Blog previously posted articles about the Nosal case, which can be found here and here. In the Nosal case, the individual defendant was criminally prosecuted under the Computer … Continue Reading

Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act Prohibits Improper Acquisition of Trade Secrets, Regardless of Subsequent Use

Misappropriation of trade secrets claims can sometimes be difficult to sustain. While evidence of the taking of a trade secret may be available, evidence of its subsequent use may not.  In Integrated Global Services, Inc. v. Michael Mayo, Case No. 3:17cv563, by decision issued on September 13, 2017, the federal court for the Eastern District of … Continue Reading

Federal Court Warns Companies – If You Don’t Protect Your Trade Secrets, Neither Will We

In 2016 Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, creating a federal cause of action for the theft of trade secrets. For a plaintiff attempting to prove that the information at issue is a trade secret, there is a tendency to focus only on the information itself, rather than the manner in which the plaintiff … Continue Reading

The Long-Arm of Minnesota Law Reaches Out to Adjudicate Claims Against an Out-of-State Employee

In Patterson Dental Supply, Inc. v. Vlamis (Sept. 6, 2016), the Minnesota Court of Appeals reminded that employees who reside and work outside of Minnesota may still be hailed into Minnesota courts to defend their actions. Patterson Dental Supply (“Patterson”) is a corporation with its principal place of business in Minnesota. Theodore Vlamis worked for … Continue Reading

Groundhog Day for Massachusetts Non-Compete Reform

Once again, the Massachusetts legislature was unable to agree on non-compete reform legislation by the July 31, 2016, end of the current legislative session. The House and Senate had passed versions of non-compete reform that differed on key provisions. At the end of the session, however, the House and Senate failed to pass a compromise … Continue Reading

Accessing Database Violates Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Economic Espionage Act – Ninth Circuit Affirms Criminal Conviction of Former Employee

The Ninth Circuit recently filed its latest installment in the saga involving David Nosal and his former employer, Korn/Ferry International, an executive search firm. Korn/Ferry maintains a proprietary database of executive candidates for its paying customers.  Nosal, a former Korn/Ferry executive, set up a competing business.  Allegedly desiring the information in Korn/Ferry’s database for his … Continue Reading

New Proposed Rule Would Restrict Confidentiality Agreements for Government Contractors

The Jackson Lewis Affirmative Action Compliance & OFCCP Defense Practice Group has written about an important new proposal which would bar certain employers from using confidentiality agreements that restrict employees or subcontractors from reporting waste, fraud or abuse to the government.  This is the latest in a series of new and proposed requirements imposed on government … Continue Reading

Four Non-Compete and Confidentiality Agreement Issues to Watch in 2016

Jackson Lewis has prepared an end-of-the-year review of four non-compete and confidentiality issues to watch in 2016 on its website. Clifford R. Atlas, co-chair of the firm’s non-compete and unfair competition practice group, and attorney Puja Gupta from the firm’s Baltimore office, identify four developments to keep an eye on next year: 1. Enforceability of choice of … Continue Reading

Illinois Appellate Court Finds Non-Compete Restrictions Over-Reaching and Affirms Court Decision Not to Blue Pencil

A recent decision from an Illinois Appellate Court suggests that employers with non-compete agreements “built to scare” may end up with an unenforceable contact and even the loss of confidential information under Illinois law. AssuredPartners, Inc. v. Schmitt (October 27, 2015 1st Dist.) Illinois Courts continue to carefully scrutinize contracts containing post-employment restrictions over concerns … Continue Reading

Recent Cases Recognize Limits to Employees’ Attempts at Self-Help to Support Retaliation Claims

Two recent cases from opposite coasts confirm that employees do not have an unfettered right to steal their employer’s documents notwithstanding the documents’ potential relevance to a whistleblower retaliation claim. In West Hills Research and Development Inc. v. Wyles, Cal. Ct. App. 2d Dist. Case No. B255768 (July 17, 2015), when West Hills terminated Wyles, … Continue Reading

Nike Lawsuit Against Former Designers Will Test Company Security Initiative

Athletic shoe manufacturer Nike filed suit on December 8, 2014 in Multnomah County Circuit Court in Oregon against three of its former designers alleging that the designers misappropriated Nike’s trade secrets and conspired with Adidas to start a new, competing business venture. The three former designers, Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce and Mark Miner, all resigned … Continue Reading

Half-Billion Dollar Arbitration Award in Trade Secrets Case Affirmed by Minnesota Supreme Court in Trade Secrets Dispute

The Minnesota Supreme Court has affirmed an arbitrator’s eye-popping award of $525 million plus prejudgment interest totaling $96 million and post-award interest in a trade secrets dust up between Seagate Technology, LLC and Western Digital Corporation, et al. Seagate Technology, LLC v. Western Digital Corporation, et al and Sining Mao, No. A12-1994 (Minn. October 8, … Continue Reading

NLRB Holds Employee Termination Pursuant to an Unlawful Confidentiality Policy is Lawful

Jackson Lewis has posted an analysis of the National Labor Relations Board’s latest decision in Flex Frac Logistics, LLC, 360 NLRB No. 120 (2014). In this decision, the Board determined that it was lawful to discharge an employee for violating  a confidentialty policy which the Board separately found was unlawfully overbroad under Section 7 of the National … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Ruling Serves as Reminder that Confidentiality Agreements Should be Drafted so as to not Tread on NLRA Section 7 Rights

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a finding of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) that a confidentiality clause that defines “confidential information” to include “financial information, including costs, prices . . . [and] personnel information” among other items was overly broad and restricted the rights of non-managerial employees to engage in concerned … Continue Reading

Confidentiality, Non-Compete Agreements Held Unenforceable against Former Employee, Arizona Court Holds

Robert K. Jones and Stephen B. Coleman from our Phoenix office have written on the Jackson Lewis website about a significant new court of appeals decision in Arizona striking down restrictive coveants in an employment agreement as overbroad. The article can be viewed here: Confidentiality, Non-Compete Agreements Held Unenforceable against Former Employee, Arizona Court Holds.… Continue Reading

Bill in New Jersey Legislature Would Invalidate Restrictive Covenants

An article recently posted on the Jackson Lewis website describes a bill introduced in the New Jersey State Assembly that would invalidate non-compete, non-disclosure, and non-solicitation agreements for former employees who are eligible for unemployment benefits.  A similar proposal is under consideration in Maryland. We will continue to monitor this topic.… Continue Reading

Protecting Trade Secrets with a Mobile Workforce and Telecommuters

Regardless of where one stands philosophically on the merits of working from a physical office where greater collegiality can be fostered, versus working from home where personal efficiency and convenience can be maximized, the fact is that most companies have some employees who work from home, and nearly all companies have employees who work remotely from … Continue Reading

Videotaping of Machine Permitted Over Trade Secrets Objection

A federal court in the Northern District of Mississippi has allowed a plaintiff in an employment law dispute to conduct an on-site inspection for purposes of videotaping the machine which he formerly operated in Morton v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., (N.D. Miss. Dec. 10, 2012). Morton, an amputee with a prosthetic leg, asserted that he  was denied a reasonable … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Affirms Severance Repayment by Executive Who Breached Non-disclosure Obligations

Our contributor John A. Snyder writes on the Jackson Lewis website about an interesting decision out of the Eighth Circuit involving an executive of Hallmark Cards, Inc. who was ordered to pay back $735,000 in severance benefits and an additional $125,000 she earned at a competitor because she disclosed information about Hallmark’s processes and market research … Continue Reading

PhoneDog v. Kravitz Settlement Points to Need for Agreements on Ownership of Social Media Accounts

Last December, PhoneDog, a mobile phone website, sued Noah Kravitz, after he resigned from the company, alleging that he improperly took control of his Twitter account and approximately 17,000 Twitter followers when he left. While at PhoneDog, Kravitz’s Twitter account was @PhoneDog_Noah. After he left, Kravitz changed the account to @noahkravitz but kept his followers. … Continue Reading