The Compass

The Compass

Charting Business and Technology Litigation in North Carolina and the Fourth Circuit

Category Archives: Trade Secrets

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NC Takes a Big Leap: “Opportunity to Misappropriate” Trade Secrets Enough for a PI

Posted in Inevitable Disclosure, North Carolina Court of Appeals, Trade Secrets
In last month’s Horner v. McKoy decision, the North Carolina Court of Appeals appeared to lower the evidentiary threshold needed to obtain a preliminary injunction preventing the inevitable disclosure of trade secrets.  The Court equated an “opportunity to misappropriate” trade secrets with a “threat of misappropriation” under the North Carolina Trade Secrets Protection Act, without requiring the types of… Continue Reading

N.C. Business Court Weighs In On Enforcement of Restrictive Covenants Following Aquisition of a Company

Posted in Contracts, Trade Secrets
Your company acquires another company through merger or stock purchase.  You require the key employees of the acquired company to sign new employment agreements which provide for similar pay, benefits and job duties  – but the new agreement also imposes new non-compete obligations.  A recent decision by the North Carolina Business Court reminds companies that… Continue Reading

Employees Who Download Trade Secrets As They Head Out the Door Can Be Guilty of TS Theft, Even Before They Make Use of the Info

Posted in Trade Secrets
When a high-level employee leaves the company, downloads sensitive company trade secrets on her way out, but hasn’t yet used or disclosed the info to a new employer, what options does the company have to keep the information confidential? Before the 9th Circuit’s Nosal and the 4th Circuit’s WEC Carolina Energy decisions last year derailed the argument,… Continue Reading

Fighting Fire with Fire: IP Commission Says American Business Needs Better Weapons to Fight IP Thieves

Posted in Trade Secrets
On May 22, 2013 the IP Commission – a blue ribbon panel of business and government experts – released its Report on assessing international intellectual property theft.  Not only does the Report look at the pervasive scope and damage of IP theft in its many forms – patent infringement, cyber theft, and copyright and trademark… Continue Reading

Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: One Simple Weapon to Fight Economic Espionage in a Cyberspace World

Posted in Trade Secrets
The Obama Administration’s recent white paper, Administration Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of U.S. Trade Secrets, purports to formally elevate the theft of U.S. trade secrets to a national priority, and the Administration has requested public submissions seeking recommendations for legislation that would enhance the protection of trade secrets.  Last week, “cyber threats” were recognized by the… Continue Reading

Trade Secret “Inevitable Disclosure” Doctrine Taking Shape in NC

Posted in Trade Secrets
Although the wait continues for those seeking to learn how the “inevitable disclosure” doctrine may apply in North Carolina trade secret cases, the question no longer appears to be whether the court may apply the doctrine–at least in the North Carolina Business Court.  In Allegis Group, Inc. v. Zachary Piper LLC, Judge Gale provides some helpful insights… Continue Reading