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Posts Tagged ‘Los Angeles’

Publicly Visible “Images” and “Features” of Gaming Applications Not Trade Secret, Even If Source Code Kept Confidential

In Public Availability on February 17, 2012 at 6:20 am
MyFarm

MyFarm (Photo credit: Benjamin Pender)

In a slip opinion, District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers of the Northern District of California struck portions of trade secret allegations regarding certain gaming applications where those “images” and “features” were visible to the public. SocialApps, LLC v. Zynga, Inc., No. 4:11 CV 04910 YGR, 2012 WL 381216 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 6, 2012) (slip op.).

Background

Plaintiff SocialApps LLC (“SA”) sued Defendant Zynga Inc. (“Zynga”) for violation of the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“CUTSA”), copyright, and various other contract-based common law claims.  Id. Zynga moved to dismiss, inter alia, the CUTSA claim.  Id. Plaintiff alleged that it developed the first farming social network game to be accessed through Facebook.  Id.  The game was publicly released on Facebook in November 2008 as “myFarm.”  Id.  In May 2009, Zynga approached SA about acquiring the intellectual property rights and other information about myFarm, and the parties entered into a letter agreement on May 19, 2009.  Id.

Plaintiff alleges that Zynga violated the express terms of the agreement, as well as the implied understandings the parties had reached in connection with the agreement, by making use of the myFarm confidential source code, processes, and other information revealed pursuant to the letter agreement. Id. SA goes on to allege that Zynga thereafter used the confidential source code and other information it acquired from SA to create its own game, “FarmVille,” without SA’s permission and without compensating SA. Id.

Discussion Read the rest of this entry »

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Defendant Counterclaiming for Trade Secrets Misappropriation Awarded $72,403 in Damages and $372,094 in Attorneys Fees

In Arbitration, Counterclaims, Judgments, Verdicts on November 3, 2010 at 6:34 am
Wachovia Securities
Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Plaintiffs in a wrongful termination suit were denied any award after an arbitration, but one plaintiff was ordered to pay $72,403 in compensatory damages to defendant on, inter alia, misappropriation of trade secret counterclaims. Holland v. Wachovia Securities LLC, 2009 WL 7035871, 44 Trials Digest 13th 12 (S.D. Cal. Award May 18, 2009).

Background

According to court records: Plaintiff William Holland filed his Statement of Claim alleging that defendants Wachovia Securities LLC and Eugene P. Ingargiola, who was the manager of the Wachovia office where William was employed, had damaged him when they wrongfully terminated his employment on November 18, 2004.  Id. Among other things, plaintiff claimed that defendants had terminated him on account of his age and in a desire to re-assign his accounts to younger account executives whose percentage share in the revenues generated by those accounts would be less than plaintiff’s share had been. Id.

Holland’s son and co-worker, Michael W. Holland, also filed his own Statement of Claim in a separate proceeding, alleging that defendants had damaged him when his employment with Wachovia terminated very shortly after his father’s.  Id.

Wachovia counterclaimed, alleging, inter alia, that William Holland and Michael W. Holland violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and misappropriated trade secrets. Id. Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Jury Awards $157,000 After Trial in Trade Secrets Case

In Verdicts on September 7, 2010 at 4:28 pm
Money, it's a crime
Image by kiki99 via Flickr

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded plaintiff an aggregate $157,000 verdict in Hong vs. Life University, an employment and trade secrets case.  37 Trials Digest 13th 12,  2010 WL 3454121 (Verdict Date June 28, 2010).

Plaintiff allegedly entered into an employment contract with defendant university for a five-year term to begin October 1, 2006.  Plaintiff alleged that defendants breached the agreement by firing him on June 15, 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Awards Judgment of $3,135 in Misappropriation of Trade Secrets Case Involving Former Sales Employees

In Verdicts on September 2, 2010 at 8:11 am
Water Filtration
Image by QuintanaRoo via Flickr

A former employer was awarded $3,135 in compensatory damages after a Los Angeles Superior Court bench trial related to former sales employees’ alleged misappropriation of trade secrets .   LifeSource Water Systems Inc. vs. Stansfield, GC041297, 36 Trials Digest 13th 12 (Judgment Date May 4, 2009).   Plaintiff filed suit for breach of written contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, and interference with prospective economic advantage.  According to Trials Digest, the court issued a permanent injunction, ordered defendants to deliver all of plaintiff’s property in their possession, ordered Stansfield to pay $1,940 compensatory damages and ordered Kline to pay $1,195 compensatory damages. Read the rest of this entry »

Plaintiff Awarded $1,000,000 After 5-Day Jury Trial in Los Angeles Superior Court

In Verdicts on August 17, 2010 at 3:58 am
22 jury verdict
Image by daveypea via Flickr

In Quantum Cooking Concepts v. LV Associates, Case No. BC379011, plaintiff was awarded $1,000,000 after a 5-day jury trial in Los Angeles Superior Court.  See 2 Trials Digest 13th 8, 2010 WL 3210865.  Plaintiff sued a competitor for misappropriation of trade secrets and fraud.

Judge and Attorneys

The judge was Hon. Rolf M. Treu.

Plaintiffs were represented by Nam C. Nguyen and Luan K. Phan of the Phan Law Group in Los Angeles.

Defendant was represented by Howard J. Fox of the Law Offices of Jack L. Chegwidden in Encino.

By CHARLES H. JUNG

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