Tag Archives: Confidentiality

Eastern District of New York Holds That Contact List Is Not Entitled to Trade Secret Protection Because Information is Readily Duplicated Through Facebook or LinkedIn

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In a sign of the times, District Judge Arthur D. Spatt of the Eastern District of New York adopted the recommendations of Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson who denied a motion for preliminary injunction in a trade secrets misappropriation case involving a customer list.  Sasqua Group, Inc. v. Courtney, No. CV 10-528(ADS)(AKT), 2010 WL 3613855 (E.D.N.Y. 2010 Aug. 2, 2010) (slip op.). The court reasoned that because the information could be properly acquired or readily duplicated through public databases such as Facebook and LinkedIn, the information was not entitled to trade secret protection.  Id. *23.

In sum, Plaintiffs have failed to prove a physical appropriation or copying of confidential information or wrongful disclosure or use of a trade secret. See Leo Silfen, 29 N.Y.2d at 389, 328 N.Y.S.2d at 424, 278 N.E.2d 636. The information in Sasqua’s database concerning the needs of its clients, their preferences, hiring practices, and business strategies, as well as Sasqua’s acquaintance with key decision-makers at those firms may well have been a protectable trade secret in the early years of Sasqua’s existence when greater time, energy and resources may have been necessary to acquire the level of detailed information to build and retain the business relationships at issue here. However, for good or bad, the exponential proliferation of information made available through full-blown use of the Internet and the powerful tools it provides to access such information in 2010 is a very different story. Continue reading

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Southern District Jury Issues Verdict for $2,969,932 on Misappropriation of Trade Secrets Claims

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Plaintiff in a trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement case won a jury verdict for $11,909,797.  I-Flow Corporation vs. Apex Medical Technologies Inc., No. 07CV01200(DMS), 36 Trials Digest 13th 16 (S.D. Cal. Verdict Date Oct. 28, 2009).  As reported by Trials Digest, plaintiff’s award included $1,484,966 damages from defendant Apex to plaintiff for misappropriation of plaintiff’s trade secrets; and$1,484,966 damages from defendant McGlothlin to plaintiff for misappropriation of plaintiff’s trade secrets. Continue reading

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Implementing a Trade Secret Protection Program

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Metropolitan Corporate Counsel has an interview with Alan Gutterman regarding how to implement a trade secret protection program.  Gutterman recites some of the common elements to such a program:

[A]doption of security measures to mark trade secrets, thus, identifying what is or is not considered to be confidential. The programs also include segregation of trade secret information and limitation of access to the trade secret owner or other authorized personnel. I also recommend that a program places employees on notice that the company maintains confidentiality of its trade secret information and that each employee has a duty to assist in protecting such items. Continue reading

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In Software Distribution Case, Northern District Holds That Improper Disclosure Element of UTSA Claim Properly Pled Where Acknowledgment of EULA Alleged

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In BMMSoft, Inc. v. White Oaks Technology, Inc., No. C-09-4562 MMC, 2010 WL 3340555 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 25, 2010), the court denied a motion to dismiss a misappropriation of trade secrets claim in an unauthorized software distribution case.  The court held that the improper disclosure element was properly pled where the complaint included an allegation that defendant clicked “I agree” to an end user license agreement restricting unauthorized disclosure. Continue reading

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