Tag Archives: misappropriation

Uber’s Autonomous Vehicle Program Continues but Without its Key Engineer

On Monday, May 15, 2017, Uber Technologies, Inc. narrowly sidestepped what could have been a complete shutdown of its autonomous vehicle program. Specifically, a federal district court judge declined to issue a temporary injunction against Uber and its self-driving car program. A copy of the order is available here, Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (5-15-2107). … Continue Reading

Ex-Worker Sued for Accessing Former Employer’s Google Drive Account

A former employee’s accessing a Google Drive he set up for his employer may result in a violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). This case also serves as a reminder to carefully evaluate how your company uses any third-party services like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Background … Continue Reading

Trade Secret Misappropriation Lawsuit Dismissed – What Your Business Can Learn

Trade secret misappropriation lawsuits continue to be a potent offense for businesses against departing employees seeking to compete wrongfully. But as with any offense, it is critical to pay attention to fundamentals to be successful. A recent federal district court opinion illustrates this point (link to memorandum and opinion provided below). Specifically, Raben Tire Co., … Continue Reading

Uber’s Autonomous Vehicle Development Collides with Federal Trade Secret Lawsuit

On Feb. 23, 2017, Waymo, the Alphabet Inc. company formed from Google’s self-driving project, sued Uber Technologies, Inc. and its related entities, Ottomotto LLC, and Otto Trucking LLC. The suit is for violations under the federal Defense of Trade Secrets Act and other related claims.  Waymo alleges its former engineer, Anthony Levandowski, took valuable intellectual property relating to … Continue Reading

Using Co-worker’s Computer Password Ends with Federal Computer Hacking Conviction

A federal appeals court on July 5, 2016, affirmed the conviction of a former executive, David Nosal in a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) case that we’ve extensively covered. In sum, Mr. Nosal was charged in 2012 and amended charges were filed in 2013 for violating the CFAA by using a shared password to steal headhunting … Continue Reading

Courts Continue to Narrow Application of Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Against Former Employees

While it is far from settled, the trend under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act continues towards narrowing the application of the CFAA in the context of the employer/employee relationship. Specifically, a federal district court in Colorado concluded that the federal computer fraud statute was not violated by departing employees and contractors who, during … Continue Reading

Non-Solicitation Restrictions – A Valuable Tool for Protecting Your Company’s Customer Relationships

When it comes to post employment restrictions, non-compete agreements often get all the attention. In fact, such restrictions are a frequent subject of discussion on our law firm’s blog (Noncompete Restrictions: The First Line of Defense for Protecting the Company from Unfair Competition). However, as explained below, a carefully drafted non-solicitation provision should be in … Continue Reading

Noncompete Restrictions: The First Line of Defense for Protecting the Company from Unfair Competition

Business involves competition. But not all competition is lawful. Two former employees found this out the hard way after a judge determined on May 22, 2015 that they had wrongfully started a competing business while they continued to work for their employer along with misappropriating trade secrets and engaging in other wrongful acts (Nedschroef Detroit … Continue Reading

Michigan Employer Restricted in Using Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Claim Against Former Employer

The California based law firm Littler Mendelson’s Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets Practice Group discussed a recent dismissal of a Computer Fraud and Abuse Act claim brought by a company against its former employee. The case, Ajuba International, L.L.C. v. Saharia (PDF), involved the U.S. federal court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejecting a broad interpretation … Continue Reading

New Weapon for Michigan Employers for Protecting Against Unfair Competition and Trade Secret Theft

Michigan Companies were recently given a new tool for fighting back against trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition. Specifically, in Actuator Specialties, Inc. v. Chinavare the Michigan Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court’s determination that Actuator Specialties established a threat of misappropriation against its former employee and his new employer. This threat entitled it … Continue Reading

Holiday and Year-End Bonuses Often Mark the Beginning of Litigation Festivus

Festivus – as introduced by Seinfeld – is a holiday celebration that included the “Airing of Grievances,” i.e., public criticism and pronouncements as to how a particular person has been a disappointment in the past year.  The timing of holiday and year-end bonuses also often mark the beginning of a similar airing of grievances in … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: A Criminal Statute That Extends to the Employment Relationship?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Ensnared (Gary Fields and John Emshwiller), details the increasing number of federal criminal statutes and federal prosecutions – a threefold increase over the last 30 years. The article attributes – in part – this upward spiral to the criminalization of issues generally … Continue Reading

What Happens When a Noncompete Agreement is Violated? A Blueprint for Noncompete Litigation

Employers commonly require employees to execute noncompetition agreements (also referred to as covenants not to compete or restrictive covenants). Under Michigan law (MCL 445.774a), such agreements will be enforceable if reasonable. In theory, an enforceable noncompete agreement generally places certain limitations on an employee’s ability to work for a competitor or to start a competitive venture business following … Continue Reading

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Continues to be Potent Weapon Against Disgruntled and Departing Employees

A recent opinion from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (PDF) confirms that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (essentially a federal computer hacking statute) continues to be a significant resource for employers to protect against the loss and damage of mission critical information due to departing or rogue employees. To add the Computer Fraud and … Continue Reading
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