Trade secrets are prized assets that encompass an enormous variety of confidential information critical to a company’s competitive advantage, reputation and brand. Given today’s highly mobile workforce, complications arising when businesses jointly develop trade secrets and the increased ease with which trade secrets may be misappropriated, companies must take appropriate steps to protect their proprietary information.
McDermott’s experienced trade secret lawyers work with clients in virtually every industry—from technology and life sciences to manufacturing, financial services and entertainment—to protect their confidential data. We help ensure that your trade secrets are protected from an opponent’s grasp. When disputes arise, we swiftly pursue appropriate action, whether that involves emergency provisional relief, critical motion practice or going to trial.
Since the enactment of the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) and following the increase in remote working arrangements for employees, there has been an uptick in lawsuits involving the protection and enforcement of trade secrets in the United States. And trade secrets are increasingly important internationally: The European Union has introduced Directive (EU) 2016/943, while Japan, Russia, China and other countries have taken similar steps to protect trade secrets. Our team is well-versed in this evolving regulatory landscape, as well as more traditional laws developed under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and related federal statutes such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Economic Espionage Act.
Our lawyers have litigated and won hundreds of trade secret disputes over the past 25 years in state and federal courts throughout the United States, as well as before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and several international tribunals. Many of our lawyers also have technical backgrounds and prior government service, which we draw on to create tailor-made remedies that minimize legal and business risks.
Our team provides guidance on trade secret protection, unfair competition, confidentiality agreements, noncompete agreements, preventing misuse or improper disclosure of former employers’ trade secrets, regulatory compliance and defending against economic espionage. We advise clients on the implications of antitrust and competition, employment, international trade, data privacy and other laws and regulations involving the development and protection of trade secrets. Our lawyers also help clients address trade secret issues that arise in the context of business acquisitions, divestitures and other transactions.
We have designed numerous trade secret protection programs from scratch and use this experience to advise on industry-specific best practices, improve existing company protocols, develop and implement procedures to avoid breaches of confidentiality when handling third-party intellectual property and ensure clear ownership of jointly developed information and assets.
Successfully defended healthcare benefits company NationsBenefits against trade secret misappropriation and various related claims asserted by a company with which NationsBenefits had previously enjoyed a cooperative business relationship
Represented Mercer Global Advisors Inc. in trade secret misappropriation actions against former wealth advisors
Served as lead trial counsel for Allscripts in an action involving data privacy issues with claims for breach of contract, trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition
Represented Next Caller Inc., a developer of enterprise-grade ANI validation and fraud detection technology, in simultaneous patent infringement litigation and trade secrets, tortious interference and breach of contract litigation related to authentication services; successfully secured a unanimous jury verdict in favor of Next Caller in both matters
Obtained a decisive jury trial victory for Dalmatia Import Group, Inc. (the first-ever plaintiff’s verdict won by a law firm under the DTSA) in bet-the-company litigation against a former distributor and manufacturer that launched an impersonator product
Defended Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., a gaming manufacturer accused of patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation and other claims related to the development of a new generation of slot machines; prevailed on summary judgment of patent invalidity and secured a favorable settlement for the remaining trade secret and breach of contract claims
In a closely watched case that lasted more than a decade, obtained complete dismissal for leading disk drive company Seagate Technology Holdings plc of trade secret claims by Convolve, Inc. asserting misappropriation of 57 trade secrets and seeking damages in excess of $800 million; affirmed on appeal
Represented Ion Beam Applications in a trade secrets arbitration involving ion beam accelerators used to irradiate medical targets