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How much detail does it take to allege a trade secret under federal pleadings standards? Can the alleged trade secret be described generally in the complaint or must it be described in detail? This article analyzes the various considerations that inform a court’s viewpoint on the issue. Lawyers who litigate trade secret cases should be well-aware of these considerations.
In today’s strong economy, where employee mobility is common, courts are finding their case dockets crowded with misappropriation lawsuits under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) (18 U.S.C. §1836 et seq.) and state trade secret laws. Many of these cases have the same fact pattern: an unhappy employee decides to leave for a better job, but not before downloading from his or her work computer company information and walking out the door with it. The former employer files a lawsuit against the employee (and often the new employer) in federal court under the DTSA. The defendants then elect to file a motion to dismiss the complaint, alleging that the plaintiff did not sufficiently allege the existence of a trade secret.
By James A. Trigg and Bethany R. Nelson
In Fourth Estate Pub. Benefit Corp. v. Wall-Street.com, LLC, the Supreme Court resolved a circuit split decades in the making by holding that a copyright is not “registered” within the meaning of the Copyright Act unless and until a registration certificate actually has issued.
By Dana Justus and Monica Riva Talley
This case should determine the availability of federal trademark registration for “immoral” and “scandalous” marks – in this case, the acronym “FUCT” for a clothing line.
By Arthur Beeman
The Federal Circuit’s Threat to Software Innovation in the Oracle v. GoogleDecisions<
The Federal Circuit decisions in the Oracle v. Google copyright case rattled Silicon Valley not simply because the decisions upended software developers’ understandings of copyright law, but also because the decisions do not comport with the disruptive ethos of the technology industry.
By Christine E. Weller
In celebration of International Women’s Day two years ago, State Street Global Advisors unveiled Fearless Girl at Bowling Green in the Financial District in Manhattan. Commissioned by State Street from the artist Kristen Visbal, the work has since become a part of the zeitgeist amidst global conversations about gender parity, diversity, and inclusion on a broader scale. Now, some two years later, Fearless Girl is raising additional intellectual property questions.