An October 2012 video from the LexBlog Network talks about the risk that social game company Zynga took when it sued a former employee for allegedly taking confidential information to a competitor. This came only a few months after Zynga was defending itself from allegations of trade secrets theft. In business litigation, it is important for lawyers and judges to protect sensitive information from public disclosure.
This subject was discussed during the “Trade Secrets 2013: What Every IP Attorney Should Know” program in San Francisco. During the panel discussion, judges and attorneys discussed some of the complications of intellectual property lawsuits that involve information not available to the public. Former chief judge of the US District Court in the Northern District of California James Ware recalled a case he oversaw in which a product at the heart of the lawsuit was referred to as “gesundheit” throughout the trial. Jurors were able to hear all of the details about the secret without knowing the product it involved.
Another panelist noted that the big risk to a trade secret lawsuit is it may be found to not be a trade secret, or the litigation process could destroy it as a trade secret. Thus, many parties opt to settle such matters through arbitration or mediation, “where the parties can keep things out of the public eye.” The panelists noted that plaintiffs have to be ready to immediately explain their claims in detail when a lawsuit is filed, especially when there is an injunction request involved. Judge James Kleinberg of Santa Clara Superior Court in California said he “expects plaintiffs to be able to describe with great specificity what is being claimed as the trade secret,” and noted it “cannot be a fishing expedition against the defendant.”
You can find additional information about trade secrets litigation on our website. If you are seeking legal representation with a proven record of success in cases involving sensitive company information, contact our firm today at (323) 653-3900 or complete the form on this page to let our experienced Los Angeles trade secret attorney see how we can help.
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