Proving access to and use of trade secrets are core elements in a trade secrets misappropriation case. Recent rulings in a trade secrets action filed by Allergan against its competitor Revance Therapeutics (“Revance”) provide helpful guidance on what is sufficient to plead these elements. There, the court explained what facts are—and are not—sufficient to infer access to and use of trade secrets allegedly misappropriated. The court also explained how examining the similarity of design may help in this analysis. Finally, the court clarified that the ability to reverse engineer alone may not always preclude trade secret protection.
In an era where trade secret misappropriation battles can shape corporate landscapes, the Apple v. Rivos case stands as a stark reminder of the importance of diligent onboarding practices when it comes to trade secrets. In this case, the court’s scrutiny of employee conduct underscores a crucial lesson: companies should ensure that new hires refrain from carrying confidential information from their previous employers. As exemplified by defendant Rivos, making an effort to remind new hires to avoid retaining confidential information can also go a long way.Here, we discuss the intricacies of the Apple v. Rivos case and provide several takeaways.
The 2016 enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) has led to an increase in trade secret litigation. The DTSA codified into federal law the right of an owner of a trade secret to sue in federal court when its trade secret had been misappropriated. Prior to the DTSA, with the absence of diversity jurisdiction, aggrieved trade secret owners had to pursue legal remedies under state law, typically under the Uniform Trade Secret Act (“UTSA”), which has been enacted by 47 states. Notably, the DTSA does not preempt state trade secret laws, therefore, aggrieved trade secret holders may seek civil remedies for alleged misappropriation under either state or federal law or both. Both the DTSA and the UTSA requires the trade secret owner to take reasonable measures to keep the trade secret information secret. The term reasonable can have many meanings in different contexts depending on a multitude of factors. As such, what may be considered reasonable efforts under one set of facts may be deemed deficient under another set of facts.
Life Sciences is an area ripe for trade secrets misappropriation litigation. In recent news, Merz Pharmaceuticals, LLC filed a lawsuit under the North Carolina Uniform Trade Secrets Act alleging that its former director of federal accounts, Andrew Thomas, stole trade secrets relating to Merz’s flagship botulinum toxin drug Xeomin®. Those secrets purportedly…
A parent corporation is typically not held liable for the acts of a subsidiary. As such, disregarding the corporate form (i.e., by piercing the corporate veil) and holding the parent liable is an extraordinary remedy. That said, if a parent company exercises enough control over a subsidiary, however, courts may hold the parent liable. Because there is often some degree of overlap between a parent and its subsidiary, a question courts are often faced with is just how much control is enough to justify imposing liability on a parent for its subsidiary’s actions?
In the United States, the scale of trade secret theft is estimated to be between $180 billion and $450 billion annually. Among the targets of this theft are pharmaceutical companies, which are some of the most research-intensive institutions in the world. Pharmaceutical research generally requires extensive work and often generates…
In a significant recent decision, the Federal Circuit reversed a $66 million judgment against L’Oreal USA, Inc. for patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation asserted by Olaplex, Inc. The case arose as a result of L’Oreal and Olaplex entering into negotiations regarding a potential acquisition, pursuant to which Olaplex shared with L’Oreal its confidential information, including asserted trade secrets. L’Oreal subsequently walked away from the deal and launched competing products of its own. Though the parties’ negotiations were governed by a non-disclosure agreement, the Federal Circuit found Olaplex failed to prove that either its asserted trade secrets were actually trade secrets, or that L’Oreal had misappropriated them.
Late last year, a California appellate court reaffirmed longstanding principles that have important lessons for employers hoping to prevent their employees from taking trade secrets with them if they leave to work for a competitor.