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They explain that reasonable measures will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and that physical protections, like access restrictions, and contractual mechanisms may be considered. Winston predicts that reasonable measures risk assessments and compliance programs will increasingly become the focus of multi-national companies in Europe, and will likely spill over into litigation in the years to come. Companies should be cognizant of these new laws and should consider how best to protect their trade secrets.

In connection with a years-long investigation, in January, the public prosecutor in Stuttgart, Germany announced criminal charges against four individuals for misappropriating trade secrets. Just as Winston predicts that trade secrets issues are likely to spill over into civil litigation filed in the EU in the future, Winston anticipates also seeing a rise in the number of investigations into and prosecutions pursued against individuals and companies that misappropriate trade secrets. When companies doing business in the EU learn of potential theft, they should consider how and when to refer matters to law enforcement.

Companies should also consider implementing proactive compliance measures to minimize risk and to protect their trade secrets when employees are terminated. In April, the EU Parliament approved a directive on the protection of persons reporting on breaches of Union law Whistleblower Directive. The Whistleblower Directive applies to all companies with 50 or more employees and it encourages entities with less than 50 employees to adopt reporting mechanisms similar to those required for larger companies pursuant to the directive.

The directive also reaffirms the whistleblower protections outlined in the Trade Secrets Directive and states that it and the Trade Secrets Directive should be considered complementary laws. The Whistleblower Directive also explicitly and affirmatively states that the disclosure of trade secrets in accordance with the conditions set forth in the Trade Secrets Directive is to be considered as allowed by EU law.

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Moreover, the Whistleblower Directive requires the authorities who receive disclosed trade secrets to ensure that the secrets are not used or disclosed for purposes other than what is necessary to follow up on or investigate allegations from whistleblowers. In a recent court decision in Germany, a district court in Munich interpreted the whistleblower protections outlined in the Trade Secrets Directive and acquitted an individual after lower courts convicted him of inciting the disclosure of trade secrets by handing out leaflets that encouraged employees to report on employers involved in the illegal arms trade.

In the decision, the court interpreted German law in light of the Trade Secrets Directive, even though it had not been implemented at the time that the court issued its decision. The passage of the Whistleblower Directive and the recent case in Germany may signal a growing trend in favor of whistleblower protections in trade secrets cases in the EU. We will monitor the approval of the Whistleblower Directive during the second half of , as well as court decisions in Germany and other member states, to see whether more individuals seek protection from courts in the EU after allowed disclosures of trade secrets.

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Follow Please login to follow content. Register now for your free, tailored, daily legal newsfeed service. Global , USA August 20 Trade Secrets Cases Dismissed on Timeliness Grounds In several recent decisions, courts in the United States have dismissed trade secrets claims on timeliness grounds.

Recent Cases Highlight the Importance of Forensic Evidence in Trade Secrets Cases Recent civil actions pursued in United States courts highlight the importance of preserving and pursuing the production of forensic evidence in theft of trade secrets cases. Taiwan Aggressively Pursues Theft of Trade Secrets Cases During the first half of , authorities in Taiwan have continued to aggressively pursue trade secrets cases.

Our cannabis attorneys see parties put all kinds of things in contracts to try to avoid this problem—from acknowledgements of federal illegality, to waivers of the right to bring a case in federal court, to outright waivers of the illegality defense. The answer to the second question is much easier: federal law almost certainly applies.

A good rule is that if the federal government says that a business has to do something, they have to do it. Here are a series of examples:. The case at issue is Kenney v. Helix TCS, Inc. As we explained previously:. C WHA, at 7—8 N. See H.

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Laws Ch. Under a new Massachusetts law, employers enforcing restrictive non-compete covenants must pay workers half their salary or other negotiated compensation while they are not allowed to compete.


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Two bills, SB and AO , are stuck in committee. Litigation Issues Defining a Trade Secret. In , courts continued to grapple with what constitutes a trade secret and how information may lose its status as a trade secret. AirFacts Inc. But, the Eleventh Circuit held that information that would otherwise be a trade secret may lose that status if the employer keeps the information on a password-protected system but also encourages an employee to store the information on his personal cell phone and does not mark the documents as confidential.

Yellowfin Yachts Inc. One court made clear that attorneys must be careful not to try to stretch the definition of a trade secret too far. Nevro Corp. Boston Sci.

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HouseCanary Analytics Inc. Meanwhile, the New York Court of Appeals, in a split decision, held that compensatory damages for trade secrets claims are limited to the actual amount lost by the plaintiff and cannot include the amount of money saved by the infringing defendant on research and development.

Irell Technical Analysis Laboratory

Brooks Co. Cambridge Sec. Seals , 31 N.

And finally, the Federal Circuit held that the court, not the jury, must decide whether to award disgorgement for a trade secrets misappropriation claim. Advanced Optoelectronic Sols. Renesas Elecs. The plaintiff has filed a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court. In , we reported that the Trump administration was continuing to aggressively pursue criminal actions to address and deter trade secret theft and economic espionage.