Monthly Archives: May 2013

U.S. District Judge in Massachusetts Explains Employee Solicitation, Concludes That the Actual Use of a Trade Secret Is Not Necessary to Get a Preliminary Injunction, and May Have Extended the “Inevitable Disclosure” Doctrine Beyond Noncompete Scenarios

            Last week, Judge Timothy S. Hillman of the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts allowed a plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction against three defendants who allegedly stole trade secrets from their former employer, even though there was no evidence that the defendants used that information when they went to a competing company.  Judge Hillman also provided useful guidelines for determining when a defendant directly or indirectly solicits another employee to leave the company,… More

Massachusetts Federal Court Takes Jurisdiction Over “One-Man” Georgia Corporation Whose Agent Allegedly Stole Trade Secrets in Massachusetts

            In a decision from March that has only recently garnered media attention, Judge Rya Zobel of the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts concluded that a Georgia corporation whose agent allegedly stole trade-secret information from a company’s office in Waltham, Massachusetts could face a lawsuit in Massachusetts.  The plaintiff, BGI Inc., is a Massachusetts corporation that makes environmental monitoring equipment such as air samplers and airflow meters.  Its former president,… More

New Massachusetts Superior Court Noncompete Decision Discusses the “Material Change” Defense and Shows the Benefit to Employers of Having a “Material Change” Clause in Noncompete Agreements

            Last month, Judge Edward P. Leibensperger of the Massachusetts Superior Court in Middlesex County decided a case in which he issued a preliminary injunction to enforce a non-competition and non-solicitation agreement and rejected several defenses offered by the defendant employee, including that the employee’s employment had “materially changed” to void the agreement.  Although Judge Leibensperger discusses many interesting issues in the decision, including whether the employer’s president had orally agreed not to enforce the agreement,… More

Who’s at Fault for the CFAA Mess? Blame Congress!

            As readers of this blog know, there is a split among federal courts over the proper interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).  Some courts, like the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on the West Coast, believe that the law is narrow and only imposes criminal and civil liability for “hackers,” people who actually “break in” to a company’s computer system to access information.  But other courts like the First Circuit based in New England think the law is broader and applies to disloyal employees as well. … More