- Firm Expands Office with Litigation Attorney AdditionNovember 1, 2016
- Seong Kim Bolsters Firm’s Korea & Mexico Practices; Rebecca Edelson Brings Trade Secrets ExpertiseMay 31, 2016
- March 24, 2016
- Partners Jim Gatto, Ben Esplin & Brad Blaise Bring Video Games, Advertising, Social Media & Financial Technology Expertise To Firm’s Washington D.C. & Del Mar Offices; Sheppard Mullin Continues IP Practice Group ExpansionJune 15, 2015
- William Ahmann
- Brian Anderson
- Edward Anderson
- Travis Anderson
- Chidera Anyanwu
- Jennifer Ayers
- Tyler Baker
- Gregory Barbee
- Bill Blonigan
- Laura Burson
- James Chadwick
- Bruce Chapman
- Kevin Cloutier
- Paul Cowie
- Guylyn Cummins
- Rebecca Edelson
- Timothy Epp
- Stephen Fox
- Darren Franklin
- Harris Gao
- Paul Garrity
- James Geriak
- Bradley Graveline
- David Heisey
- Steven Hollman
- Allan Jansen
- Michelle Kahn
- William Kane
- Michelle Kim
- Seong Kim
- Daniel Kloke
- Edwin Komen
- Stephen Korniczky
- Mark McGrath
- Scott Miller
- Daniel Muniz
- Gazal Pour-Moezzi
- Kent Raygor
- Jennifer Redmond
- Tenaya Rodewald
- Jesse Salen
- Cristina Salvato
- Steven Schortgen
- Ericka Schulz
- Marc Sockol
- James Soong
- Ximena Suarez
- Carlo Van den Bosch
- Michelle Wisniewski
- Daniel Yannuzzi
Trade secret disputes and misappropriation claims are on the rise and the size of trade secret verdicts are increasing at an astonishing rate. Trade secrets are often essential to a business’ success, and it is imperative that businesses protect and exploit that information appropriately. Sheppard Mullin assists clients to do exactly that, across a variety of industries including technology, life sciences, entertainment and media, healthcare, financial services, hospitality and leisure, fashion, retail, manufacturing, defense, and marketing and sales.
Our lawyers “wrote the book” on trade secrets. Sheppard Mullin partner Rebecca Edelson edited the leading treatise, “Trade Secret Litigation and Protection in California,” and four Sheppard Mullin lawyers are chapter authors.
Sheppard Mullin regularly counsels clients on protecting their trade secrets, know-how, and other proprietary information from misappropriation. However, should litigation become necessary to recover that information, e.g., from employees or competitors, we are prepared to advance our clients' interests. Whether a client is the trade secret holder, or the target of a misappropriation claim, our objective is to identify and secure the best resolution for the client with as little disruption to its business as possible.
Our attorneys also work with clients to identify whether a valuable intellectual property asset is best protected as a trade secret, and whether patent or copyright protection is available or more appropriate to protect all or part of the asset. Identifying these issues from the outset is critical. If the incorrect form of protection is selected, it can mean the loss of the asset’s value. Our interdisciplinary trade secret team helps clients make the most informed decisions regarding the protection of their intellectual property assets.
We have seasoned litigators who routinely prosecute and defend trade secret misappropriation and related claims, such as breach of nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) and/or restrictive covenants, unfair competition and breach of fiduciary duty, among others. Importantly, our attorneys are adept in obtaining restraining orders and injunctions to protect clients' rights, and in defending similar actions brought by clients' adversaries. We are able to mobilize on very short notice to present the most persuasive case on behalf of our clients. Such expertise is critical because, as a practical matter, injunction proceedings often decide the outcome of the litigation. In addition, our attorneys understand the importance of guarding against the disclosure of trade secret information during the litigation process to ensure that it does not fall into the public domain or competitors’ hands.
Federal forums are becoming an increasingly popular venue to address trade secret disputes. The 2016 Defend Trade Secrets Act offers a federal civil claim as relief for misappropriation. That Act adds to the arsenal trade secret holders have to enforce their rights. Other potential federal weapons include the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Economic Espionage Act. Unlike many trade secret lawyers whose practices are confined to state court, our lawyers routinely practice in federal court, as well as state court.
More and more frequently, trade secret disputes are presented at the International Trade Commission (ITC) in Section 337 proceedings. We have lawyers who have the wherewithal and know-how to successfully and efficiently advocate for our clients in that forum.
Criminal proceedings related to trade secret theft are also on the rise. We have experienced lawyers who are prepared to defend our clients against such claims and to resolve them efficiently.
Our attorneys handle trade secret cases in state and federal courts across the country. Representative matters include:
- Representing scientific research plaintiff in action against biopharmaceutical company for fraud, breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets related to medical compound development.
- Represented a national manufacturing company in an unfair competition, trade secret, and employee raiding case, which resulted in a preliminary injunction in favor of client against a former employee and competitor.
- Represented a prime defense contractor against a subcontractor’s claims for trade secret misappropriation and breach of contract related to certain weapons systems. Case settled favorably on the eve of trial.
- Represented a geospatial solutions provider in trade secrets misappropriation case, which resulted in a widespread temporary restraining order sidelining departing employees and preventing misappropriation.
- Represented an office supply manufacturer in a three-month jury trial in which a competitor sought damages for trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition. The jury returned a defense verdict, finding no misappropriation. The case settled on appeal.
- Represented a national healthcare company in a non-compete and trade secret case, which resulted in a temporary restraining order against our client’s former employee and competitor.
- Secured an indefinite temporary restraining order on behalf of a national security services firm against five defendants prohibiting the use or disclosure of confidential information and imposing strict prohibitions on solicitation of employees and customers in a restrictive covenant and trade secrets case.
- Obtained an indefinite temporary restraining order on behalf of client against competitor and former employee prohibiting solicitation of employees and customers in a restrictive covenant and trade secrets case.
- Secured complete and immediate dismissal of declaratory judgment action against client by competitor and five former employees seeking declaration that restrictive covenants were unenforceable.
- Successfully dissolved ex parte temporary restraining order issued against client and newly hired employee for enforcement of a restrictive covenant.
- Obtained a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against former employee and competitor on behalf of a national security services firm in a non-compete case.
- Represented a national software development company in a non-compete and employee raiding case, which resulted in a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the client’s former employees and competitor.
- Obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against client’s former executives and their current employer on behalf of a publicly traded homewares retailer in a trade secrets case.
- Represented a chromatography solutions provider in a high-tech trademark, trade secret, and domain name infringement case involving dynamic light scattering technology used to measure the size and distribution of molecular particles in liquid solutions. Prevailed on summary judgment and secured an award of attorneys’ fees and punitive damages for our client. Affirmed on appeal.
- Represented geolocating technology provider in trade secret and breach of license matter addressing Internet advertising practices.
- Represented an aerospace and industrial products manufacturer in a trade secret misappropriation case involving ring laser gyroscope-based inertial navigations systems for aircraft.
- Represented a major defense contractor against trade secret misappropriation claims by the client’s competitor involving avionics and graphic user interfaces for fighter aircraft. Case was settled favorably for client.
Counseling and Advice
Representative matters include:
- Develop trade secret protection programs, including
- Policies and practices to protect confidential information, such as security measures to prevent “hacking” into electronic files
- Screening processes to ensure that competitive hires do not violate the rights of prior employers
- Assessment of legal risks of proposed competitive hires, and strategies for avoiding disputes
- Training managers to enforce company policies to protect confidential information
- Educating employees about the importance of protecting the company’s trade secrets, including how to protect them and monitor for perceiving misappropriation
- Use of appropriate restrictive covenants and NDAs
- Exit protocols to reinforce with departing employees their continuing legal obligations
- Responding to perceived or potential misappropriation
- Conduct trade secret audits
- Prepare NDAs and restrictive covenants for transactions (e.g., mergers, purchases/sales, technology transfers, joint ventures, strategic alliances)
- Negotiate trade secret licenses and development agreements
- Advocate on behalf of clients to persuade government agencies not to release trade secret information to members of the public who requested access
- Chambers USA, May 4, 2018
- Laura Chapman, Stephen Korniczky, Jill Pietrini and Lorna Tanner Named Top Intellectual Property Attorneys by Daily JournalDaily Journal, April 18, 2018
- The National Law Journal, March 2018
- Super Lawyers, January 30, 2018
- Partners Jill Pietrini and Kent Raygor Named Most Influential Intellectual Property Attorneys by Los Angeles Business JournalLos Angeles Business Journal, August 14, 2017
- Managing Intellectual Property, June 13, 2017
- Chambers USA, May 26, 2017
- NDA Tips, Traps and Pitfalls: Best Practices Avoid Common ErrorsThe Recorder, April 11, 2018
- Don’t Let Trade Secrets Walk Out the Door with Departing EmployeesDaily Journal, April 11, 2018
- Tips on How to Allege and Establish Trade Secret Misappropriation at a Preliminary Injunction HearingIP Litigator, December 2017
- Federal DTSA Versus California UTSAPotential Pros and ConsCalifornia Business Law Practitioner, Vol.32, No. 2, Spring 2017
- Lexis Practice Advisor, May 11, 2017
- Engaging in Discovery on Behalf of Plaintiffs in Trade Secret Misappropriation and Breach of Restrictive Covenant ActionsLexis Practice Advisor, May 2017
- Noncompete Agreements as Varied as number of States, CourtsChicago Daily Law Bulletin, May 4, 2017
- New York Law Journal, February 14, 2017
- The Recorder, August 26, 2014
- American Bar Association Section of Litigation, January 2014
- September 24, 2001
- California Lawyer, May 30, 2000
- The Defend Trade Secrets Act Supplement to Trade Secret Litigation and Protection in CaliforniaIntellectual Property Section of the State Bar of California2017
- Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of CaliforniaNovember 2014