This dispute arises from the marketing and sale of the cardiovascular health drug Arterosil. Daniels Health Sciences (“DHS”) engaged Vascular Health Sciences (“VHS”) to market and sell the drug Provasca. After that relationship ended, VHS began to manufacture, market, and sell Arterosil, a product similar in many respects to Provasca. DHS sued VHS for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of contract, and trademark violations. The district court first granted a temporary restraining order on the grounds that DHS would likely succeed on its breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets claims. It later granted a preliminary injunction on the same grounds, also finding a substantial threat of irreparable injury absent an injunction, that the balance of hardships favored the plaintiff, and that the public interest would not be disserved by a grant of injunctive relief. VHS filed a motion in this court requesting a stay of the injunction, which was granted, and now appeals the grant of the preliminary injunction and its scope. We AFFIRM the preliminary injunction, lift the stay, and remand to the district court with instructions to expedite trial and to attempt to narrow its preliminary injunction.
In this case, a jury convicted Clark Roberts and Sean Howley of seven counts of stealing trade secrets, see 18 U.S.C. § 1832(a), and three counts of engaging in wire fraud, see 18 U.S.C. §§ 1343 and 1349. We affirm their convictions but reverse their sentences.
MGA’s claim of trade-secret misappropriation was not logically related to Mattel’s counterclaim; we therefore reverse the district court’s holding that MGA’s counterclaim- in-reply was compulsory. Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in awarding fees and costs under the Copyright Act, we affirm that award.
While this may not be the last word on the subject, perhaps Mattel and MGA can take a lesson from their target demographic: Play nice.
AFFIRMED IN PART, REVERSED IN PART AND REMANDED.
In this trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract case, defendant Chance Mold Steel Co. (“Chance”) appeals from a permanent injunction and from a jury award of damages. The injunction, based on a finding of contract breach, prohibits Chance from selling, displaying, manufacturing, or assisting others in manufacturing a number of ergonomic computer mouse products. We use the shorthand “selling” or “sale” to refer to the injunction’s operative terms. The injunction barred sale of specific products that were materially identical to products Chance had previously manufactured for Contour Design, Inc. (“Contour”) and a new product (not previously manufactured for Contour) known as the ErgoRoller.
Chance challenges the scope of the injunction, arguing that the ErgoRoller should not be enjoined, and the duration of the injunction with respect to the other products. Chance also contends that the jury improperly awarded lost profits damages. We reverse the injunction as applied to the ErgoRoller. We affirm the scope of the injunction as applied to the other enjoined products, and we affirm the damages award.
Ninth Circuit offers unique take on Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
By Jaikumar Vijayan
Computerworld - In a somewhat startling decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week ruled that several employees at an executive recruitment firm did not exceed their authorized access to their company's database when they logged into the system and stole confidential data from it.
In a 22-page ruling, the appellate court held that an employee with valid access to corporate data cannot be held liable under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) if they then misuse or misappropriate the data.
"The CFAA expressly prohibits improper 'access' of computer information," chief judge Alex Kozinski wrote in the court's majority opinion. "It does not prohibit misuse or misappropriation," he wrote. The term "exceed authorized access" under the CFAA applies specifically to external hackers and violations of "restrictions on access to information, and not restrictions on its use," Kozinski held.
The appellate court's decision affirms a previous ruling made by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The government must now decide if it wants to take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
By Jacqui Cheng
A judge has denied Apple's request to keep certain court documents sealed in its copyright infringement case against Mac clone maker Psystar. In a late Tuesday filing, US District Judge William Alsup ordered that portions of the parties' summary judgement be unsealed and filed publicly without any redaction. The ruling came after another judge's comments in September, who argued that Apple had failed to articulate specific reasons for the documents to remain sealed.
By Richard Waters
SpaceX is in a race for its life with the Chinese. The US venture says it has $3bn in orders under its belt, making it one of the early leaders in the commercial space industry. But founder Elon Musk is under no illusions about the existential risk to his business: the Chinese path to success in the commercial space industry, he says, runs over his company’s dead body.
What should a company, or an entire industry, that finds itself in Chinese cross-hairs do? One response at SpaceX, Mr Musk says, has been to avoid seeking patent protection for the company’s most important technology.
This may sound counter-intuitive. Isn’t this just the moment when tech companies should be laying legal claim to their secret sauce? Not at all. To file for patents, says Mr Musk, would be to hand his Chinese rivals “a recipe book”.
The most important stuff stays under lock and key. SpaceX only applies for patents on “things you could observe anyway”, Mr Musk says. It is a paranoia that is evident throughout Silicon Valley.
By Harry R. Weber
Associated Press / December 9, 2011
ATLANTA—The Coca-Cola Co. has made its secret formula the centerpiece of a new exhibit at its corporate museum, ditching the confines of the bank vault where the list of ingredients had been stored since 1925.
The world's largest beverage maker said Thursday a new vault containing the formula will be on display for visitors to its World of Coca-Cola museum in downtown Atlanta. However, the formula itself, which dates back to 1886, will remain hidden from view.
By Yinka Adegoke | Reuters
NEW YORK (Reuters) - EBay and its online payment unit, PayPal Inc, on Thursday sued Google Inc and two executives for stealing trade secrets related to mobile payment systems.
The two executives, Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, were formerly with PayPal and led the launch on Thursday of Google's own mobile payment system in partnership with MasterCard, Citigroup and phone company Sprint.
The suit highlights the growing battle by a wide range of companies from traditional finance to Silicon Valley trying to take a major stake in what has been described as a $1 trillion opportunity in mobile payments. The mobile phone is seen as the digital personal wallet of the future.
Published February 15, 2011 | NewsCore
CHICAGO – A US radio station claims to have discovered the holy grail of soft drinks -- the secret recipe for Coca-Cola, news.com.au reported Tuesday.
The website for Chicago public radio show This American Life states it found a list of ingredients for Coca-Cola, a secret that has been closely guarded for more than a century, in a 40-year-old newspaper.