California Employment Law Update

Tag Archives: trade secret

Trade Secret Action Was Prosecuted In Bad Faith, $1.6 Million In Sanctions Upheld

FLIR Sys., Inc. v. Parrish, 174 Cal. App. 4th 1270 (2009) FLIR Systems purchased Indigo Systems, which manufactures and sells microbolometers (a device used in connection with infrared cameras, night vision and thermal imaging), for $185 million in 2004. William Parrish and Timothy Fitzgibbons were shareholders and officers of Indigo before the company was sold … Continue Reading

Attorney And Her Clients Were Properly Sanctioned For Conduct Relating To Disclosure Of Trade Secrets

Wallis v. PHL Associates, Inc., 168 Cal. App. 4th 882 (2008) The trial court imposed approximately $43,000 in sanctions against Hygieia Biological Laboratories, its principals and their attorney in this case involving alleged misappropriation of trade secrets. During the course of the litigation, the parties agreed to a protective order, which the trial court issued, … Continue Reading

Former Employer’s Claims Were Properly Dismissed Under Anti-SLAPP Statute

Nygård, Inc. v. Uusi-Kerttula, 159 Cal. App. 4th 1027 (2008) After quitting his employment with Nygård, Timo Uusi-Kerttula gave an interview about his work experiences to a Finnish magazine. Nygård then sued Timo and the magazine for a variety of claims, including breach of contract and defamation. The trial court granted defendants’ motion to strike … Continue Reading

Trade Secret Must Be Identified Before Discovery Can Commence

Advanced Modular Sputtering, Inc. v. Superior Court, 132 Cal. App. 4th 826 (2005) Within four years of being laid off from their jobs at Sputtered Films, Sergey Mishin and Rose Stuart-Curran started their own company (Advanced Modular Sputtering), which became a competitor of Sputtered. In its lawsuit against AMS, Sputtered alleged that Mishin and Curran … Continue Reading

Audio Recording Of Plan To Steal Competitor’s Employees And Trade Secrets Was Admissible

Jasmine Networks, Inc. v. Marvell Semiconductor, Inc., 117 Cal. App. 4th 794 (2004) Marvell Semiconductor, Inc. and Jasmine Networks, Inc. are competitors in the business of designing and manufacturing telecommunications chips. Marvell offered to buy some of Jasmine’s technology, along with some of its engineers, and Jasmine accepted after negotiating a nondisclosure agreement preventing Marvell … Continue Reading

Employee’s Conviction For Grand Theft Of A Trade Secret Is Reversed

People v. Laiwala, 115 Cal. App. 4th 850, 9 Cal. Rptr. 3d 466 (2004) Sadrudin Laiwala, a former engineer of Odeum Microsystems, a division of Hyundai Electronics America, allegedly copied and took with him a “DVD copy protection system” immediately prior to his departure from the company. Laiwala was criminally prosecuted for violation of California … Continue Reading

Website Operator Was Properly Enjoined From Disclosing Trade Secrets

DVD Copy Control Ass’n, Inc. v. Bunner, 31 Cal. 4th 864, 75 P.3d 1 (Cal. 2003) Jon Johansen, a Norwegian resident, reverse engineered the Content Scrambling System (CSS), computer software used to encrypt the contents of Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs), and wrote a program called DeCSS that decrypts motion pictures stored on DVDs, thus enabling users … Continue Reading
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