Episode 11: Trade Secrets, Back to Basics Part 2

21Jun

In this second part of their "Back to Basics" series on trade secrets, John Marsh, Russell Beck, and Ken Vanko discuss security measures. The Fairly Competing hosts identify commonly used security measures businesses implement to protect trade secret information. They examine security steps companies should take at the time key employees join the organization, as well as those exit interview steps that lead to the better protection of confidential business information. John, Russell, and Ken also discuss the perils of "bring your own device" policies that companies utilize, which may impact the ability to protect trade secrets adequately.

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Episode 10: Trade Secrets, Back to Basics Part 1

5Jun

In Part 1 of their trade secrets boot camp, Russell Beck, John Marsh, and Ken Vanko discuss the definition of a trade secret. They discuss common types of trade secrets - such as customer lists and proprietary processes - and compare trade secrets to different forms of intellectual property. Russell, John, and Ken also examine strong versus weak trade secrets, and how courts view this form of intellectual property. Finally, they differentiate trade secrets from lesser protected confidential information.

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Episode 9: The Conviction of David Nosal Under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

24May

In this episode, John Marsh, Russell Beck, and Ken Vanko discuss the recent conviction of ex-Korn/Ferry executive David Nosal. In April, a San Francisco jury convicted Nosal of conspiracy, trade secrets misappropriation, and computer fraud. John, Russell, and Ken discuss the counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and in particular the government's theory that "password sharing" among co-conspirators was sufficient to constitute an offense under the CFAA. The hosts also discuss the likelihood the conviction will be upheld on appeal. They continue to debate the proper scope and interpretation of the CFAA.

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Episode 8: Has the Time Come to Add a Federal Civil Trade Secrets Claim

17May

In Episode 8 of the Fairly Competing podcast, John Marsh, Russell Beck, and Ken Vanko debate a hot topic in competition law circles: has the time come to add a federal civil trade secrets claim? The hosts address the pros and cons of the proposed legislation known as PATSIA - Protecting American Trade Secrets and Innovation Act of 2012. John, Russell, and Ken also weigh other options to create a federal civil remedy compared to the PATSIA framework and discuss the policy rationales behind federalizing trade secrets claims in civil litigation.

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Episode 7: Trade Secrets, Whistleblowers, and the First Amendment

9May

In Episode 7, John Marsh, Russell Beck, and Ken Vanko discuss the unique problems posed by trade secrets suits against so-called whistleblowers. The Fairly Competing team assesses the realities of litigation involving whistleblowers, First Amendment concerns, and state SLAPP laws that may come into play in whistleblower litigation. John, Russell, and Ken also talk about a recent case involving Anheuser-Busch where trade secrets law intersects with an alleged whistleblower's claim of First Amendment protection.

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Episode 6: Practical Considerations When Seeking Injunctive Relief

15Apr

The Fairly Competing hosts - John Marsh, Russell Beck, and Ken Vanko - discuss injunction practice in Episode 6. The most common form of relief in non-compete and trade secrets cases, preliminary injunctions require parties to act and respond very quickly. In this episode, John, Russell, and Ken each discuss what businesses need to consider when moving for injunctive relief, the differences between temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, expedited discovery, and local practice related to injunctions in various courts throughout the United States.

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Episode 5: The Lessons of Amazon.com v. Powers

30Mar

In today’s episode, the Fairly Competing hosts - John Marsh, Russell Beck, and Ken Vanko - look at the recent non-compete case of Amazon.com v. Daniel Powers. In 2012, Powers was terminated from Amazon where he had previously headed its Web Services division, a unit of Amazon focused on cloud computing solutions for businesses. Powers later joined Google in a similar capacity. This podcast discusses the lawsuit that followed, the favorable result Powers and Google achieved, and the host of non-compete and trade secret issues that arose in this high-profile case.

Issues for discussion include the court's view of the reasonableness of Powers' contract with Amazon, tactical decisions made by the parties in litigating the case, and the steps taken by Google and Powers to wall off Amazon's efforts at litigation.

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Episode 4: Mistakes Employers Make With Non-Compete Agreements

22Mar

In today’s episode, your Fairly Competing hosts - John Marsh, Russell Beck, and Ken Vanko - look at how companies use non-compete agreements, and in particular, the mistakes they make both drafting them and enforcing them in litigation. The hosts discuss their thoughts on when it’s appropriate to use broader non-compete covenants, as opposed to less restrictive non-solicitation agreements. They debate the wisdom of including liquidated damages clauses in non-compete contracts. And they examine the tension of conducting a thorough factual investigation before filing suit with the necessity to proceed quickly when attempting to enforce non-compete agreements in court.

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Episode 3: The 2013 Legislative Update

13Mar

In Episode 3, the Fairly Competing hosts - Russell Beck, John Marsh, and Ken Vanko - discuss proposed legislation relating to non-compete and trade secrets law. The hosts discuss proposals currently pending in Massachusetts, Texas, Michigan, and Minnesota. Those bills would regulate non-compete agreements and trade secrets law in different ways. Russell, John, and Ken offer their insights on the motivations behind the pending bills, the policy considerations for each, and the chances of passage.

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Episode 2: The Prosecution of Aaron Swartz

18Feb

In their second podcast, Russell Beck, John Marsh and Ken Vanko discuss the recent prosecution of internet activist and Reddit founder, Aaron Swartz, under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The hosts discuss the forces that shaped this tragic case, consider whether changes to the CFAA are needed, and debate whether Silicon Valley Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s proposed amendment to the CFAA goes far enough.

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