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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 David S. Gold
Branding is not a new concept, nor are the various intellectual property laws that protect brands. What is new to most is how this burgeoning industry can take advantage of those laws within the context of state and federal restrictions.
By Tom Gushue
The owner of a commercially successful patent may have competing desires. On one hand, the patent owner wants to protect the patent and secure its maximum benefit; on the other hand, the patent owner wants to avoid enforcement litigation with competitors because it is expensive and puts the patent at risk.
By Glenn E.J. Murphy
Many observers greeted the passage of the AIA into law as a long-overdue overhaul of U.S. patent law that aligned it with patent systems prevailing in the rest of the world. Who knew what mischief just seven of the AIA’s more than 25,000 words contained? The U.S. Supreme Court answered earlier this year.
By Norman C. Simon and Patrick J. Campbell
The decision in Romag Fasteners v. Fossil will bring welcome uniformity, ending the status quo where eligibility to recover profits under the Lanham Act depends on which court is deciding the dispute