Below is a short supplement to February’s update on issues and cases making trade secrets | noncompete news. The developments are as follows…
Florida: On February 24, Florida’s governor, Rick Scott, signed dual trade secrets enhancement bills (SB 180 and SB 182) into law. The former expressly expands the definition of a trade secret under Florida trade secrets law to include financial information. The latter provides increased protection to trade secrets from disclosure under Florida’s public records act. For additional information see Gov. Scott Signs 2 Trade Secrets Bills into Law.
Utah: Earlier this month, businesses came out in opposition to a proposed Utah law to ban noncompetes. This week, the Utah House of Representatives approved the bill and Jonathan Johnson, Chairman of Overstock.com (and Utah gubernatorial candidate), wrote an opinion for the Daily Herald explaining his view that noncompete agreements “promote fair competition” and “curb theft of business assets in important ways.” See Guest Opinion: Non-compete clauses: good for competition and good for Utah.
Washington: The Washington state bill to ban certain noncompetes is not moving forward (for now at least). See Bill to ban non-compete deals stalls in Washington state after opposition from business groups.
Damages and Sentencing in Criminal Trade Secrets Cases: In the much heralded case of the former employee, Yihao Pu (a computer engineer), who stole Citadel‘s high-frequency trading software (remember Alenykov and the Trade Secrets Clarification Act?), the 7th Circuit found clear error in the methods used by the District Court to calculate loss and reversed the sentencing and restitution award. For a nice summary, see Seventh Circuit Finds Clear Error on Loss Calculation in Trade Secrets Sentencing.