Intellectual Property Litigation

Trade Secrets Litigation

Experience

Altbaier v. Down-Lite

In this action, we represented the defendant/employer, Down-Lite, who develops and sells proprietary blends of down and feather, in the California-based companion action brought by the employee/shareholder to a misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract action filed in the Southern District of Ohio that had been filed by our client. The employee/shareholder was seeking preliminary injunctive relief to enjoin our client from enforcing a non-compete restriction and non-disclosure of trade secrets limitation in agreements he had signed with our client. Following a court hearing, we successfully defeated plaintiff’s emergency motion for a temporary restraining order and obtained a complete dismissal of this action pending further proceedings in the Ohio proceedings brought by our client.

Huawei Technologies and Futurewei Technologies v. Yiren “Ronnie” Huang and CNEX Labs, Inc.

After a 3-week jury trial in Eastern District of Texas, successfully defended start-up CNEX Labs in a bet-the-company case against all claims of trade secret misappropriation, CFAA, RICO, and tortious interference brought by Huawei Technologies and Futurewei Technologies and attained a finding of misappropriation of trade secrets against Huawei in the field of SSD controller technology.

BladeRoom v. Facebook and Emerson

After a five-week jury trial before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, our team won for UK-based BladeRoom a $30 million verdict against global manufacturing giant Emerson for willful and malicious misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of a non-disclosure agreement relating to BladeRoom’s revolutionary new methodology for constructing warehouse-sized data centers. The Daily Journal named this one of the “Top Verdicts” in California in 2018. The Court subsequently awarded BladeRoom an additional $30 million in exemplary damages and $17 million in prejudgment interest, for a total judgement exceeding $77 million. Our client settled with Facebook after the first week of trial.

Ischemia Research and Educational Foundation v Pfizer, Inc., et al.

We defended Pfizer, Inc. against claims of trade secret misappropriation in Santa Clara County Superior Court.  The plaintiffs’ misappropriation claims arise out of clinical drug trials for Bextra, a second generation COX-2 inhibitor.

Cadence v. Avant!; People v. Avant!

In these parallel civil/criminal proceedings, the firm represented the CEO of Avant!, who was among several individual defendants alleged (along with the corporation) of having been involved in the theft of source code belonging to the plaintiff/“victim.”  The issues involved Integrated Circuit Design Automation, defined generally as the field of automated software tools for the design and creation of sophisticated integrated circuits.  The case settled favorably for our client. 

Corporate Health Care Financing, Inc. v. Chris Fletcher and Tri-City Benefits, et al.

Successfully defended Tri-City Benefits and Chris Fletcher in a lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland by the former employer of Mr. Fletcher which sought preliminary injunctive relief based on claims of alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of restrictive covenants and solicitation clauses in Mr. Fletcher’s employment contract, as well as alleged theft and improper disclosure of confidential business information relating to the employee benefit plan industry.  After conducting extensive expedited discovery proceedings and avoiding a preliminary injunction, was able to settle this case for our clients on favorable terms. 

Eltoukhy v Castagna

Defended Paul Castagna and Golden Gate Financial against claims of trade secret misappropriation relating to development of computerized market timing systems.  Evidentiary hearing in Santa Clara Superior court on application for preliminary injunction.

Waymo LLC v. Uber Technologies, Inc. et al.

Appointed by federal court Judge William Alsup of the Northern District of California, John Cooper is serving as “special master” in Waymo’s trade secrets case against Uber, putting him at a focal point of what could be seen as a battle for the future of the autonomous vehicle industry.

BCCI v. Principal Builders, et al.

Successfully defended the founders of a start-up company who were sued in California state court by their former employer in the commercial design business based on claims of alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of employment contracts and restrictive covenants.

CyberMedia v. Symantec, et al.

Represented an Atlanta-based software development company and its officers in connection with copyright and trade secret claims arising out of the development and sale of a popular software program.

Deluxe Data v. Visa International, et al.

In this case, perhaps the first in the country tried under the “inevitable disclosure” trade secrets doctrine, the firm represented Visa, its data processing system, and seven individuals who were sued for having left the plaintiff en masse, allegedly with knowledge of source code and “know-how” related to the functionality in ATM machines worldwide.  The case was tried in state court in Milwaukee for approximately two weeks, and our clients prevailed on every count.  The decision in favor of our clients was affirmed by the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.

PGEI v. Sierra Detroit Diesel-Allison, et al.

We represented the defendant company being sued by a competitor over the components of large, commercial, diesel-powered electric generator packages.  The plaintiff’s claims alleged that our client hired the plaintiff’s former employees and misappropriated the plaintiff’s design plans for the fuel tanks, on which the generators sit, and the steel housings or enclosures, which cover the generators for weather protection and sound attenuation.  The case was settled on favorable terms for our client prior to trial. 

Ran One v. Principa

We represented Ran One in a copyright infringement and trade secret misappropriation case brought against a former officer and director who attempted to create a competing company. The case settled favorably to Ran One.

Smith Barney

We act as regional counsel for Smith Barney in the San Francisco Bay Area and regularly provide advice, counseling, and act as litigation counsel for disputes arising out of the termination and hiring of broker-dealers, solicitation of clients and employees and the handling of confidential business and client information. In connection with this work, we are often called upon to handle proceedings seeking TRO’s and preliminary injunctive relief.

Wavelink Media v. Stoneground Solutions

Represented three former employees and their start-up website design company in litigation filed by their former employer (another website design company) based on claims of alleged misappropriation of trade secrets (including client lists, marketing strategies and website design techniques and styles), trademark infringement and copyright infringement. The case was settled favorably for our clients through mediation.

Firm Highlights

Publication

Electric Fence: Protecting Proprietary Rights in Collected Energy Data

Like companies in other industries, a growing number of modern energy-related companies are focusing their efforts on data collection and analysis. For example, Enphase – an energy technology company – regularly tracks data about how...

Read More
Publication

Trade Secret Hygiene for Current Employees

Published on  ACCDocket.com . By Walt Norfleet, Smiths Group plc and Eugene Y. Mar, Farella Braun + Martel LLP In the first two parts of this series on best practices in protecting trade secrets, we...

Read More
Publication

Tips for Efficiently Managing New Trade Secret Risks Created by Shelter-In-Place Restrictions and Remote Working

On April 14, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom outlined the six “critical indicators” the state will monitor during the next phase of its COVID-19 response as it considers when to modify its statewide shelter-in-place...

Read More
News

Jeff Fisher Named Among California’s 2020 Top Trade Secrets Lawyers by the Daily Journal

SAN FRANCISCO, October 7, 2020: Farella Braun + Martel is proud to announce that Jeffrey M. Fisher was named among the “Top Trade Secrets Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal . Jeff is...

Read More
Event

Trade Secrets: Protection, Enforcement, and Litigation West Coast Conference

Eugene Mar is a speaker on the "Protection, Prevention, and Investigations" panel at the 3rd Annual Sandpiper Partners Trade Secrets: Protection, Enforcement, and Litigation West Coast Conference virtual event.

Read More