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Thursday Wrap-Up (March 15, 2012): Noteworthy Trade Secret, Non-Compete and Cybersecurity Stories from Around the Web

by John Marsh 15. March 2012 11:30

For those looking for a break from bracket-mania, here are some noteworthy reports from the web on trade secret law, non-competes and cybersecurity:

Trade Secrets and Non-Competes:

  • Allergan v. Merz "Botox" Injunction Update: In the wake of Judge Andrew Guilford's sweeping ten-month injunction forbidding them from selling Xeomin, Merz Aesthetics and Merz Pharmaceutical issued a press release yesterday committing to the remediation plan outlined in the court's order. In addition, blogger Michael Sacopolos, who has been following the case closely, reported that Merz has placed the offending employees on administrative leave. For those who reviewed Judge Guilford's rulings, the fact that none of the 7 employees had been terminated or reassigned was a point of concern. It sounds like this case is headed towards settlement, and there was apparently a hearing this past Tuesday, the results of which have yet to be reflected in any order.
  • Law 360 is reporting Sara Lee settled its non-compete case with former executive Vincent Burns and Tyson Foods. At a recent hearing, Burns had been forced to acknowledge that he had kept documents marked confidential. 
  • The Southern District of California has dismissed Gabriel Technologies' trade secret claims against Qualcomm, claims that Gabriel had valued in excess of -- wait, wait, let me get my pinkie close to my lips -- $1 billion dollars. The district court found that there were two separate instances in 2003 and 2004 where Gabriel had "suspected" that its trade secrets were being misappropriated.  (A PDF copy of the opinion is attached below).
  • Seyfarth Shaw's Trading Secrets Blog has several noteworthy posts this week, including an important non-compete decision by the Nevada Supreme Court, as well as what appears to be a groundbreaking Computer Fraud and Abuse case defining "unauthorized access" by a Colorado federal court.
  • "Will New Jersey continue to recognize 'Inevitable Disclosure' under Its New Trade Secrets Act?" Arent Fox asks. The article notes that a recent federal decision, IDT Corp. v. Unlimited Recharge Inc., questions the doctrine's ongoing viability, albeit in a dicta footnote.
  • In a follow up post on the IP Watchdog, Nicholas Mattingly concludes that the America Invents Act's newly-expanded "prior commercial use" defense will lead to more trade secrecy and adversely impact innovation in the U.S. 


  • "Boards of Directors Largely Ignoring Cyber-Risk Security Management" according to Corporate Counsel's Catherine Dunn. In her post, she says executives are falling behind the learning curve on technical issues.
  • Are Facebook, YouTube and other social media companies enablers for cybercriminals? In a Forbes article entitled "Social Media Companies Contribute to Cybercrime," Jody Westby of Global CyberRisk argues that their failure to cooperate promptly with hacking or cybertheft reports frustrates effective law enforcement efforts.
  • In a post entitled "Inside the Stratfor Attack," the New York Times Bits Blog outlines the attack on the consulting firm, an attack that "rummaged through Stratfor’s financial information, e-mail correspondence and subscribers’ personal and financial information, occasionally deleting its most valuable data — all in full view of F.B.I. agents" who were unable to stop the hackers at that point.

News You Can Use:

  • "Lost phone? There's an 89% chance somebody tried to access data." Those are the results of a test conducted by Symantec, the LA Times reports. 
  • It was inevitable. There is now "An App for Watching for Personal Security Breaches", according to the New York Times.

Gabriel v Qualcom re Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion for Summary Judgment.pdf (91.24 kb)

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About John Marsh

John Marsh Hahn Law AttorneyI’m a Columbus, Ohio-based attorney with a national legal practice in trade secret, non-compete, and emergency litigation. Thanks for visiting my blog. I invite you to join in the conversations here by leaving a comment or sending me an email at


The information in this blog is designed to make you aware of issues you might not have previously considered, but it should not be construed as legal advice, nor solely relied upon in making legal decisions. Statements made on this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP. This blog material may be considered attorney advertising under certain rules of professional attorney conduct. Regardless, the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.


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