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Posts Tagged ‘California Supreme Court’

Presence of EULA Fails to Convert Reverse Engineering Into an “Improper Means” Within Definition of California Trade Secret Law

In EULA, Improper Means, Reverse Engineering on February 21, 2012 at 3:13 pm
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In an unreported case from the Central District of California, Senior District Judge Ronald S.W. Lew held that plaintiff may not maintain a trade secrets claim for reverse engineering of software code, where plaintiff alleged that a trial version of the software was properly downloaded pursuant to an end user license agreement (“EULA”).  Aqua Connect, Inc. v. Code Rebel, LLC, et al., No. CV 11 5764 RSWL (MANx), 2012 WL 469737 (C.D. Cal.  Feb. 13, 2012).

Background

Plaintiff Aqua Connect, Inc. sued Defendants Code Rebel, LLC and others.  Defendants brought a motion to dismiss plaintiff’s claim for misappropriate of trade secrets.  Id.  Plaintiff alleged that defendants downloaded a trial version of Plaintiff’s Aqua Connect Terminal Server software (“ACTS”) and subsequently reverse engineered ACTS in violation of the End User License Agreement (“EULA”), which defendants had to agree to in order to use the trial version of ACTS.  Id. Plaintiff alleged that defendants misappropriated the trade secrets within ACTS and used that information to create and distribute a competing software product.  Id.


Discussion

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After Nine Years of Litigation, Jasmine Networks v. Marvell Semiconductor Finally Proceeds to Trial

In Trial on October 5, 2010 at 9:38 am
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After over nine years of litigation, the trade secrets misappropriation case in Jasmine Networks, Inc. v. Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. is underway.   As reported by Kate Moser of The Recorder, Jasmine, represented by San Francisco’s McGrane Greenfield, contends that Marvell abused a nondisclosure agreement to rip off valuable intellectual property and claims that it lost business worth $80 million to $100 million.  Marvell’s attorneys have argued that Jasmine’s alleged trade secrets are based on stolen technology that Jasmine tried to pass off to Marvell as its own: “The truth is that Jasmine was a failed start-up founded at the tail end of the technology boom of the late 1990s,” Bauer wrote in Marvell’s trial brief. “In its short life, it never completed a product, did not obtain a single patent, and earned not a penny of revenue.”

The case was filed on September 12, 2001, and has featured two appeals to the Sixth District Court of Appeal.  Last June, the trial judge dismissed the case for lack of standing by Jasmine, but the Sixth District reversed, and the California Supreme Court denied Marvell’s petition for review and stay.

Jasmine’s key evidence is an infamous voice mail accidentally left by Marvell’s former general counsel, where he called a Jasmine in-house lawyer and apparently meant to hang up, but allegedly continued to talk with two colleagues on speakerphone about stealing trade secrets from Jasmine.  The voicemail was finally played for a jury on Friday.  A transcript prepared by Jasmine quotes Marvell’s former general counsel as saying: Read the rest of this entry »

Orrick Wins 6-Year Long Misappropriation of Trade Secrets Battle for Intel

In California Appellate Opinions on August 20, 2010 at 1:13 pm
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On Wednesday, the California Supreme Court denied review of Sivaco Data Systems v. Intel Corp., 184 Cal. App. 4th 210, 109 Cal. Rptr.3d 27 (Cal. Ct. App. 6th Dist. Apr. 29, 2010), ending a six-year long trade secret misappropriation battle.

Plaintiff Silvaco Data Systems (Silvaco) sued defendant Intel Corporation (Intel) alleging that Intel had misappropriated certain trade secrets used by Silvaco in its software products. Id. *215.  The gravamen of the dispute was that Intel had used software acquired from another software concern with knowledge that Silvaco had accused that concern of incorporating source code, stolen from Silvaco, in its products. Id. **215-16. Read the rest of this entry »