Trade Secrets

In an increasingly mobile workforce—and with traditional tort remedies slowly dying on the preemption vine—adequately protecting trade secrets should be on the forefront of every employer’s agenda. And the optimal time to protect trade secrets is before they walk out the door (unless you’re in the minority of companies who prefer wasting time and money on outside counsel).

While Dave owns a long track record of success representing companies and individuals in lawsuits and arbitrations, he understand his clients’ strong preference to avoid litigation altogether. Much of his work in this area involves preventative counseling and education because implemented properly, a rigorous trade secret protection program is the best way to deter theft before it occurs. Drawing on his extensive litigation experience, Dave helps companies develop aggressive and enforceable measures to protect their trade secrets while respecting individual employee rights. He counsels both employers and employees on trade secret principles and continuously updates his best practices pointers to ensure maximum protection of trade secrets given an increasingly mobile workforce. Dave also counsels start-ups, founders, and investors concerned with evaluating (and minimizing) the risk of future IP-related claims.

But even the most comprehensive protection programs aren’t bulletproof, a fact highlighted by California’s recognition that “the court cannot compel a man who changes employers to wipe clean the slate of his memory.” When real trade secret disputes arise, they are intense, fast-paced, and can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Given the complexities of both the law and facts at play in trade secret disputes, it’s imperative that your advocate not only understand the law in this area but also the procedural tools that exist to ensure a level playing field amongst competitors both in and out of the courtroom. Dave not only understands how this game is played but his efforts have contributed to shaping the rulebook of California trade secret law over the past decade.

Experience Matters

Dave has specialized in trade secret law since the late 1990s. Scroll down for a sampling of his more recent engagements:

  • Represented five individual defendants in trade secret case focused on sales in the commercial solar industry (N.D. Cal.)
  • Represented two individual defendants in actual/threatened trade secret case in the mobile payments space (Santa Clara County Superior)
  • Defended subterranean optical networking company against allegations of trade secret theft of both technical and customer information (Alameda County Superior)
  • Represented engineer accused of stealing source code from former employer, a leading network virtualization company
  • Represented cutting-edge broadband wireless company in trade secret litigation against former employee and his competitive new business (N.D. Cal.)
  • Defended sales manager in lawsuit alleging theft of customer information from leading managed hosting, security, and IT services company (N.D. Cal.)
  • Defended SaaS solution company and its new sales executive against allegations of customer-related trade secret theft (Contra Costa County Superior)
  • Defended streaming media company and new employees in trade secret and non-solicitation case (Santa Clara County Superior)
  • Defended start-up CRM company and its founders against allegations of trade secret theft and customer solicitation (San Mateo County Superior)
  • Defended real-time rich media imaging company and its founders against claims of trade secret theft and breach of fiduciary duty; case resolved on favorable terms after Court granted our sanctions motion (Marin County Superior Court)
  • Represented plaintiff in trade secret litigation involving fiber optic technology and customer lists; obtained TRO protecting client’s intellectual property and customer relationships (Alameda County Superior)
  • Represented former Facebook employee in dispute involving allegations of trade secret theft and failure to protect confidential information
  • Represented telecommunications company in dispute against former employee and new employer involving allegations of breach of contract and trade secret theft
  • Represented defendant in trade secret and unfair competition case involving customers in network security industry
  • Represented defendant and its founders in trade secret litigation involving fiber optic technology and complex thin film filter manufacturing methods
  • Defended company and its design director against claims of misappropriation and unlawful solicitation brought by competitor in RTA furniture market (Orange County Superior Court)