Tag Archives: trade secret misappropriation

Court Blocks LinkedIn From Restricting Access to User Profiles

A Federal Judge recently blocked LinkedIn from restricting another company from using data from LinkedIn’s website. The suit involves Linkedin and hiQ Labs, Inc. The suit also has significant ramifications for job-seekers and employers. See LinkedIn Profiles Used to Alert Employers Which Employees are Job-Hunting. hiQ Labs Business Depends Upon Access to LinkedIn Profiles hiQ Lab offers data … 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

Trade Secret Computer Inspections Should Require More than Knee Jerk Reactions

A lawsuit involving trade secret misappropriation recently brought to mind the definition of a “knee-jerk reaction;” an “automatic and unthinking” response. Specifically, our law firm filed a lawsuit for breach of contract involving unpaid commissions and other claims on behalf of a former executive. In response, the former employer manufactured filed a counter-claim for trade secret misappropriation … Continue Reading

When Stealing Trade Secrets Don’t Use any Computer Devices – It Makes an Attorney’s Job Easier

Aliphcom, Inc. d/b/a Jawbone won an early legal battle in a lawsuit filed against five of its former employees and its rival Fitbit, Inc. Specifically, in a preliminary injunction hearing held on 10/20/2015, the individual defendant were ordered by a federal judge to return any confidential information they took and to allow their computers and … 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 Court Orders Former Employee to Give Up Company, Move it, or Shut it Down After Violating Noncompete Agreement

Not many people would jump out of a plane and then worry about figuring out what to do about a parachute on the way down. But often times individuals take that approach when it comes to starting a new business or taking a job after having signed a non-compete agreement. And that lack of planning can … Continue Reading

An Uber Example of Getting Caught with Your Hand In Your Employer’s Cookie Jar

Uber and Lyft are both internet and mobile application based technology companies offering a peer-to-peer ridesharing platform. Or for less tech-speak, they are involved in what is generally described as the “sharing economy.” However, a recent lawsuit makes clear that sharing has its limits. Specifically, Lyft is suing a former executive (Lyft v Uber (PDF)), … Continue Reading

Is Your Non-compete Agreement Enforceable? Not Without a “Reasonable Competitive Interest”

“Sticking feathers up your butt, does not make you a chicken.“ Tyler Durden, Fight Club Under Michigan law, one required element for having an enforceable non-compete agreement is a “reasonable competitive business interest.” But, like the chicken quote, business owners can’t expect to just stick the phrase “reasonable competitive business interest” into an employee agreement … Continue Reading

What Steps Can Your Business Take to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Trade Secret Theft?

Trade secret theft continues to be a major concern (or it should be) for businesses. And the numbers back up this conclusion; In an article by  by Will Yakowicz, appearing in Inc., “How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Trade Secret Theft,” it’s noted that: Criminal theft of corporate trade secrets is reaching epidemic levels, experts say … … Continue Reading

Former Employee Sentenced to Prison for Trade Secret Misappropriation and Computer Fraud Related Misconduct

One of the more noteworthy employer/employee trade-secret misappropriation and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act  (CFAA) cases came to an end earlier this week. Specifically, Mr. David Nosal wa sentenced on January 8, 2014 to one year and one day in prison. He was convicted for misappropriating his former employer’s trade secrets and improperly accessing the … Continue Reading

Doubting Attorney Google – Relying on Free Legal Search Results Can be Dangerous Thing

A little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing, especially when legal issues are involved. This truism makes the Internet a virtual minefield for the unwary looking for “free legal advice,” which often happens in the area of post employment restrictions and noncompete agreements. As discussed below, however, a noncompete lawsuit arising from incomplete … Continue Reading

Playbook for Protecting Trade Secrets Begins with Protecting Your Home Turf

Regardless of your political preferences, President Obama’s election victory offers an important lesson that can be extended to your company’s protection of trade secret intellectual property. In sports – similar to politics or business – a critical strategy for success is the concept of “protecting your home turf.” In this regard, after the dust settled on … Continue Reading

Trade Secret Misappropriation – $taggering Numbers For Employers to Consider

Last week I attended the State Bar of Michigan’s Information Technology Law Section Seminar, Core Legal Issues in a High-Tech Business World. It was a great overall day of presentations. One presentation that stood out from a business owner’s perspective, however, was given by attorney Leigh Taggart – Protecting Software Trade Secrets. Trade Secret Misappropriation … 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
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