On May 11, 2016, President Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) into law. President Obama publicly supported this legislation and efforts generally directed to strengthen trade secret protections within the U.S. economy. As we previously reported on May 3, 2016 and November 24, 2015, trade secret misappropriation was formerly treated exclusively as a matter of state law, governed by varied versions of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act as enacted in most states. A lack of uniform enactment of this Act resulted in differences in the application of the law between states, which presented difficulties for trade secret owners seeking to enforce their rights in the general commerce.
Tagged: Telecommunications (telecom)
On April 27, 2016, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) passed the House of Representatives with a 410-2 vote. The two no votes were from Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Thomas Massey (R-KY). Earlier this month, on April 4, the Senate passed the DTSA by a unanimous vote of 87-0. Now, the DTSA heads to President Obama’s desk for his signature.
Last month, judges from the European Court of Justice, the European Union’s top court, issued a judgment striking down a 15-year old agreement, known as the Safe Harbor framework, which allowed American and European businesses to freely move personal data between the two regions. This ruling impacts nearly 4,000 businesses that currently rely on Safe Harbor framework to transfer data between the U.S. and Europe and requires all businesses to revaluate their compliance with Europeans standards.
Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015 Would Create a Federal Private Right of Action for the Misappropriation of Trade Secrets
On July 29, 2015, with bipartisan support, Congressional leaders in both the House and the Senate introduced identical bills, HR 3326 and S. 1890, respectively, entitled, the “Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2015” (“DTSA 2015”). The proposed legislation attempts to authorize a private civil action in federal court for the misappropriation of a trade secret that is related to a product or service used in, or intended for use in, interstate or foreign commerce. Additionally, the proposed legislations seeks to (a) create a uniform standard for trade secret misappropriation; (b) provide parties pathways to injunctive relief and compensatory damages; and (c) create remedies for trade secret misappropriation that are similar to other violations of intellectual property rights, for example, including exemplary damages and attorneys’ fees available in the event of willful and malicious misappropriation of a trade secret. An interesting feature of the DTSA 2015 is the availability of an ex parte seizure order for plaintiffs fearful of the dissemination of their trade secret(s). The proposed ex parte seizure allows for the government to seize property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret prior to giving notice of the lawsuit to the defendant.
This past week, Governor Christie signed into law S. 581, entitled the “New Jersey Angel Investor Tax Credit Act.” The new law is designed to stimulate investment in New Jersey’s high tech start ups by providing investment incentives for “angel investors.” The law provides credits against corporation, business and gross income taxes for investing in New Jersey’s emerging technology businesses, including: advanced computing; advanced materials; biotechnology; electronic devices; information technology; life sciences; and mobile communications, among others. Angel investors in these start-ups will be eligible for tax credits equal to 10 percent of their investments, up to a maximum allowed credit of $500,000 for the tax year. Other criteria for the start-ups require that they employ fewer than 225 employees, 75 percent of whom must work in New Jersey. The overall program has an annual cap of $25 million.
Apple v. Motorola – An End to the Smart Phone Wars or the Harbinger of New Standards for Proving Damages and Injunctions?
Judge Posner’s ruling in Apple v. Motorola last week may have brought an end to the patent war between the parties, but may be a harbinger for tougher standards for proving patent damages and injunctions. Apple and Motorola have accused each other of infringing patents directed to cell phone technology. Following a Daubert hearing, Judge Posner excluded the parties’ damages experts as unreliable. Because the parties cannot prove their respective damages without admissible expert opinion, the Court dismissed the case with prejudice.
The New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association (“NJIPLA”) will be hosting its first annual “Electronics, Telecom and Software Patent Practice Update” next Wednesday, November 9, 2011, from 12:00-5:15 pm at the New Brunswick Hyatt. This informative event is co-chaired by Robert E. Rudnick, a Director in the Gibbons Intellectual Property Department and Vice President of the NJIPLA, who will also be a panelist at the event speaking on the recently enacted Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and its impact on patent protection in the electrical arts.
The New Jersey Intellectual Property Law Association (“NJIPLA”) will be hosting its first annual “Electronics, Telecom and Software Patent Practice Update” on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, from 12:00-5:15 pm at the New Brunswick Hyatt. This informative event is co-chaired by Robert E. Rudnick, a Director in the Gibbons Intellectual Property Department and Vice President of the NJIPLA, who will also be a panelist at the event speaking on the recently enacted Leahy-Smith America Invents Act and its impact on patent protection in the electrical arts.
Following a recent Federal Circuit decision, a patentee might now be able to assert a system claim against a single infringer for operating a distributed system, rather than naming joint infringers hosting portions of the distributed system. This is significant for entities that do business on-line, particularly enterprises with a cloud computing business model. Whereas in the past a patentee may have had to allege direct infringement among joint infringers (e.g., individual users, enterprises, and information technology system providers), and perhaps prove vicarious liability, now it may be possible to bring a direct infringement action against a sole infringer that might not be in possession of the complete system. E-commerce businesses, web-based providers of business services, providers of software as a service, electronic market makers, and other enterprises that use third-party server farms to host part, or all, of their system might now be named as the sole infringer. A patentee could perhaps now sue a competitor for infringement without having to sue the infringer’s IT provider. This could be particularly advantageous in cases where the patentee and the infringer share providers, and will permit the patentee to sue without jeopardizing its own business relationship with the provider.