trade secret misappropriation

Non-compete agreementSticking 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

JokerOne of the most common questions I get asked by both business clients and individuals is whether their non-compete agreement is enforceable. As explained below, a number of points will determine the answer, but none are more important than what essentially amounts to a “wild card” — the judge deciding your case.

Attorney Brett Snider

Trade secret protectionTrade 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 … the number of trade secret cases in U.S. federal courts doubled between 1988 and 1995, doubled again from 1995 to 2004, and is projected to double again by 2017.

Mr. Yakowicz’s article goes on to provide business owners with great advice on how to reduce trade secret thefts in your business. Having recently wrapped a trade secret misappropriation trial filed in Michigan state court, I can definitely say that the article is worth reading and the recommendations should be meaningfully considered by any business with information worth protecting.

What happens when a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit falls apart.

For background purposes, I represented a company and its executives who were sued for claims involving trade secret misappropriation, breach of a non-compete agreement, and other business related claims. One problem with any sort of lawsuit is that often times the facts get in the way.

This became clear as two days after the trial began, the lawsuit settled on terms very favorable to my clients (Plaintiff had requested over $860,000 at Michigan’s case evaluation procedure, which resulted in the evaluation panel awarding $175,000 against my clients). However, the parties settled the lawsuit for $8,500.00 payable over time.


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

Computer Crime HandcuffsOne 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

Google Search.jpg

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

Playbook.jpgRegardless 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

Safe and Barbwire.jpegLast 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

Security_Computer_Laptop in Chain.jpegMichigan 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