Category

Employee Defections

Employee Defections

Duke Radiologist Files Class Action Suit Alleging Duke University Health System Conspiracy with UNC Health System Not to Poach Each Other’s Medical Faculty

This blog is about more than just employee departures that involve allegations of trade secret theft - it is also about litigation involving employee departures and related issues.  On June 9th, the well-respected national law firm Lieff Cabraser filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina on behalf of a Duke Health System radiologist alleging that Duke University Health System's "senior administrators and deans entered into express agreements to eliminate or reduce competition among them for skilled medical labor."  The complaint further…
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June 12, 2015
Employee DefectionsTrade Secrets

Former Goldman Sachs Programmer, and Alleged High-Frequency Code Thief, Sergey Aleynikov Convicted in New York State Court

The legal travails of code programmer Sergey Aleynikov are like none this student of trade secret litigation has ever seen.  This long, strange trip on Mr. Aleynikov's existentialist legal nightmare began with his arrest at the Newark airport.  He was on his way to Chicago as part of the pre-hire process at Teza Technologies, a high-frequency trading firm.  It is undisputed that he had in his possession some of the computer source code for the high-frequency trading platform at Goldman Sachs.  He helped design the Goldman Sachs platform and his…
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May 6, 2015
Employee Defections

Federal Judge Lucy Koh Reportedly Near Approving $415 Million Settlement of Tech Worker Antitrust Suit Against Huge Tech Companies

This case has always been a bit shocking and weird - California-based tech employees sued big tech companies such as Apple, Google, Adobe, Intel and others and accused them in a class-action lawsuit of arranging an "interconnected web" of agreements between 2005 and 2009 not to hire each other's workers with the illegal but secret plan having the effect of squelching any possibility of a destructive bidding war for talent amongst these employers. You'll recall that the plaintiffs were able to obtain in discovery troubling e-mails between Apple's Steve Jobs and…
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March 3, 2015
Employee DefectionsNoncompete Agreements

Jimmy John’s Employees Required to Sign Noncompete – A Legal Absurdity

When professional colleagues first sent me links to reports that Jimmy John's requires new employees to sign two-year noncompete agreements, I thought "The Onion is somehow behind this."  But, according to nationwide reports, this is not a joke. According to numerous reports, this is the how the covenant reads: "Employee covenants and agrees that, during his or her employment with the Employer and for a period of two (2) years after … he or she will not have any direct or indirect interest in or perform services for … any…
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October 22, 2014
Employee DefectionsTrade Secrets

$135 Million Settlement Payment from Eaton to Triumph in Now Legendary Mississippi (and ultimately North Carolina) Trade Secrets Row

Eaton Probably Wishes It Could Go Back in Time . . . . You knew this day would come - you just didn't know what the contents of the day would unveil.  Eaton Corp. has reportedly agreed to settle for $148 million ($135 million to Triumph Group and $13 million to the former Eaton engineers) what might ultimately prove to be the most screwed-up trade secrets misappropriation case in American jurisprudence. Eaton originally sued some of its former engineers and their new employer (then called Frisby but now called Triumph…
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June 19, 2014
Employee DefectionsTrade Secrets

DuPont’s $920 Million Trade Secret Jury Verdict Vacated by Fourth Circuit and Remanded With Instruction to Try The Case Again Before a New Judge

In an unpublished opinion only 17 pages long, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has vacated DuPont's $920 million verdict against South Korea's Kolon Industries.  You'll recall that DuPont convinced the jury that Kolon had misappropriated at least 42 trade secrets of DuPont's Kevlar technology. The appellate opinion noted that it was reversible error for Senior District Court Judge Robert E. Payne to exclude evidence Kolon wanted to introduce that DuPont had previously disclosed in litigation with DuPont's former chief competitor - a company called AkzoNobel.…
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April 7, 2014