Our friends at Privacy & Security Matters recently posted an important update on the New York State Department of Financial Services’ new cybersecurity regulations. The regulations, which became effective March 1, 2017, impose a series of requirements on banks, insurers and financial services firms as well as on third party service providers that have access to these entities’ nonpublic information, such as IT vendors, law firms and accounting firms. Among other requirements, covered entities must designate chief information security officers within their organizations, create detailed response plans for dealing with security breaches and institute employee training programs. The regulations establish several compliance deadlines and we strongly encourage employers to take a proactive approach in revising their policies and practices to meet these new obligations.

My colleagues Bret Cohen, Michael Renaud and Nicholas Armington wrote an American Bar Association Business Law Today article entitled Explaining the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which provides an overview of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, including how it provides American companies with greater protection against trade secret misappropriation. The article examines key provisions of the act such as a uniform definition of “trade secret”, the new civil seizure mechanism as a preventive tool for trade-secret owners, and whistleblower immunity.    

 

On Wednesday, President Obama signed into law the groundbreaking Defend Trade Secrets Act, which for the first time creates a federal civil remedy for trade secret misappropriation and provides uniformity — and hopefully predictability — to what has been a patchwork body of law applied disparately among the states.

This alert provides an overview of the new law, including provisions that require the immediate attention of all employers.

 

Yesterday, in an overwhelming 410-2 bipartisan vote, the US House of Representatives passed the Hatch-Coons Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which would for the first time federalize trade secrets law and provide uniformity (and hopefully predictability) to what has, until this point, been a patchwork area of law applied disparately among the states.  The legislation already passed unanimously in the Senate earlier this month, and President Obama has promised to sign the bill into law.

Continue Reading Trade Secrets Going Federal

The New York City Council passed the Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act last Thursday.  It amends the New York City Human Rights Law to prohibit most employers from making employment decisions based on an employee or applicant’s consumer credit history. The law will go into effect in the late summer. We discuss the law and its implications below.

Continue Reading New York City Will Prohibit Most Employers From Basing Employment Decisions on an Applicant or Employee’s Consumer Credit History

Bi-partisan support has resulted in the introduction of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (S. 2267), a proposed amendment to the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which made trade secret theft a federal crime. Senators Christopher Coons (D-Del.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), both members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, proposed the legislation which would enhance trade secret protection by creating a federal private right of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets related to products or services used in interstate or international commerce. Read more about the Defend Trade Secrets Act from our colleagues in the IP practice on the Global IP Matters blog.

Written by Andrew Matzkin

At an economic development summit earlier today in Newton, Massachusetts, Governor Patrick stated that he will propose an economic growth bill that includes a prohibition on non-competition agreements that discourage workers in high-tech companies from taking their skills to a competitor. Governor Patrick stated that such agreements move beyond their core importance – protecting company trade secrets and confidential information – and instead unnecessarily stifle competition. “In California, another tech hub, they don’t have non-competes and they’re doing pretty well,” Patrick said in a previous appearance on his monthly radio show. “We want to enable that same free flow of talent in an innovation hub here in Massachusetts which is booming and it ought to have as few restraints on it as possible.” We will provide more details regarding the proposed bill after it is published in full. Currently it appears that the bill will be modeled after California’s analogous regulations, which essentially declare such covenants to be void when based solely on an employment relationship. In turn, Governor Patrick will seek to have Massachusetts adopt the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which prevents workers from taking companies’ intellectual property to other businesses but leaves them free to join or launch competitors (a large majority of states, including California, have adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act). Governor Patrick’s proposal is likely to prompt significant debate in the state legislature. As noted in a Boston Globe piece published earlier today, Governor Patrick appears mindful of the concerns of businesses and lawmakers – the proposed bill would allow businesses to continue limiting certain activities by former employees (such as stealing clients), and would not affect nondisclosure clauses that prevent former employees from publicizing private company matters.

Don Schroeder was recently quoted in this Law360 Article entitled Microsoft Steps in Privacy Quagmire With Email Snooping. The article focuses on the controversial choice by Microsoft Corp. to search a blogger’s e-mail account for evidence of leaked trade secrets by its former employee.  The article also explores whether or not the company will face charges and how it will fare against public opinion.

Also, a quick reminder that Don is hosting a seminar tomorrow at 1:00 pm EDT: “Union Avoidance 101: What Employers Need to Know.” To access the event page, please click here.