We are pleased to announce the webinar “2015 National Year in Review: What You Need to Know About the Recent Cases/Developments in Trade Secrets, Non-Compete and Computer Fraud Law” is now available as a podcast and webinar recording.

In Seyfarth’s first installment of its 2016 Trade Secrets Webinar series, attorneys Robert Milligan, Jesse Coleman and Joshua Salinas reviewed noteworthy cases and other legal developments from across the nation this past year in the areas of trade secrets , non-competes and other restrictive covenants, computer fraud and data theft, as well as provided their predictions for what to watch for in 2016.

As a conclusion to this well-received webinar, we compiled a list of  brief summaries of the more significant cases that were discussed during the webinar:

  • Data breach is a question of when and not if. Companies should ensure they have implemented sufficient information security policies and a data breach response plans. The best strategy is to try to prevent breach and misappropriation through effective policies, procedures, and agreements, employee training, technology solutions, and continual assessment and improvement.
  • Courts continue to struggle with issues regarding adequacy of consideration for restrictive covenants. Employers who have asked existing employees to sign non-competes or are considering doing the same should evaluate whether consideration should be provided for the non-compete to ensure enforcement under applicable law. Employers should also take into account recent legislative changes in non-compete law in Oregon, New Mexico, Hawaii and Alabama.
  • While the federak circuit court split continues to widen regarding the interpretation of unauthorized access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the recent decision in U.S. v. Christensen (9th Cir. 2015) may provide employers with a civil cause of action under Penal Code Section 502 in California against employees who misuse company data without permission.