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Posts Tagged ‘Lawyers and Law Firms’

Trade Secrets Basics for Small Businesses

In Seminars and MCLE on October 12, 2010 at 10:54 am
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Steve Obenski  posted a useful video directed to small business, entitled Trade Secrets for Small Businesses 101.  In the video, he discusses what a trade secret is, ways to protect trade secrets, and limitations of trade secrets compared to patent and other areas of intellectual property law.

By CHARLES JUNG

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Protecting Trade Secrets in China is Top Priority for Group of In House Intellectual Property Attorneys

In Conferences, Criminal Theft of Trade Secrets, International on August 11, 2010 at 9:03 pm
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Protecting trade secrets when doing business in developing countries has long been a concern of intellectual property attorneys.  Protecting American trade secrets in China was identified as a top priority amount a group of in-house intellectual property attorneys at a the American Bar Association‘s annual conference which was held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco this morning.

Amy Miller of Legal Pad reported on some perspectives shared at the conference:

Gary Loeb, vice president of intellectual property at Genenetech, Inc., said that during litigation he fights aggressively to keep his company’s secret information confidential. “It’s a battle we take very seriously,” he said. “It’s something that makes our cases very expensive.”

Scott Piering, senior IP lawyer at Cargill, Incorporated, said . . . . [that] Cargill has had less success keeping their trade secrets secret when doing business in China. Dealing with corporate espionage is just the price of doing business there, he said. So his company doesn’t take its best trade secrets to China, but Cargill has taken some calculated risks in the country, and said it’s expected that trade secrets will be stolen. “It keeps me up at night constantly,” he said.

Robert Lindefjeld, general counsel and chief IP counsel for Nantero, Inc., said he hasn’t figured out how to deal with corporate spying in China either. His strategy is to just maintain a strong patent portfolio in China. “I used to file every single patent overseas,” he said. “Now I only file key patents because it’s so expensive.”

You can read the article here.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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Mere Reference to Patent Does Not Confer Federal Jurisdiction Over UTSA Claim

In Federal Jurisdiction on August 2, 2010 at 10:28 am
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In this next case, Judge James Lorenz of the Southern District of California runs through a federal question analysis and concludes that Plaintiff’s mere reference to the fact his intellectual property is patented does not convert a state law UTSA claim into a federal question that can impart original jurisdiction in the federal courts.  Markey v. Verimatrix, Inc., 2010 WL 2976164 (S.D. Cal. July 22, 2010) (slip op.).

A careful review of plaintiff’s misappropriation of trace secret claim as found in the complaint does not suggest a basis for federal jurisdiction. The issue presented for decision is not whether plaintiff’s patents are valid or invalid or are or are not being infringed but whether his intellectual property was misappropriated. Mere reference to the fact that plaintiff’s intellectual property was patented does not turn on a substantial question of federal law. Plaintiff is not seeking to prove his trade secrets are protected under federal patent law and that defendant infringed on the patent. And the Court is not called to determine in any manner the scope and meaning of plaintiff’s patent in order to consider the alleged trade secret misappropriation. The misappropriation of trade secret claim does not ‘turn on substantial questions of federal law,’ and does not ‘really and substantially involv[e] a dispute or controversy respecting the validity, construction or effect of [federal] law.’ “ Williston Basin, 524 F.3d at 1102. Instead, the sole remaining claim in the complaint is based solely on California law. As a result, the Court does not have original jurisdiction over plaintiff’s claim.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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