Tag Archives: trade secret

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

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

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

Michigan Court Cuts Down Non-Compete Agreement

Abraham Lincoln once noted that if he had six hours to chop down a tree, he would spend the first four sharpening the axe. For employers, that sort of up-front attention to details is especially important when it comes to non-compete agreements. Otherwise, as a recent Michigan Court of Appeals illustrates, the only thing likely to … Continue Reading

Common Mistakes that Derail Enforcement of a Noncompete Agreement

Our law firm was recently hired to represent clients – former employees – being sued for allegedly violating a noncompete agreement, trade secret misappropriation, and other business related claims. As is typical with these sorts of cases, the Plaintiff, the former employer, was seeking injunctive relief in the form of a temporary restraining order (TRO) … 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

Enforcing Noncompete Agreements: How to Avoid Wasting A+ Resources on the C- Employee

Noncompete agreements have become a staple of the employment relationship. These agreements are intended to give employers the ability to protect their business against unreasonable and unfair competition. Such competition usually takes the form of a former employee directly competing against the employer either by starting a similar business or jumping ship for competitor.   … 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

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
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