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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 Jonathan Moskin
In 2013, the PTO adopted a new policy under which any party commencing a de novo proceeding challenging a PTO decision would be responsible to pay a pro rata share of the salaries of the government attorneys working on the matter. On Dec. 11, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the PTO’s new interpretation of the Patent Act and held that the American Rule, a centuries-old principle under which each party bears its own attorneys’ fees, does apply to this statute.
By Mary A. Donovan
In a recent trademark cancellation case that has drawn “human interest” attention in the news, the plaintiff appealed an adverse decision to the Federal Circuit. The plaintiff was not “kidding” when he expressed his opinion that the registered mark, described as “goats on a roof of grass,” is demeaning to goats which, in turn, is offensive to him.
By Shaleen J. Patel
Do Not Pass Go? U.S. Supreme Court to Review Federal Circuit’s Finding of Justiciability
By Leslie Kushner
This article discusses the jurisprudence applied to determining patent eligibility of claims for diagnostic methods, and the expectation for changes in analysis of patent eligibility under §101 in the near future.