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Meyers Nave Protects Client’s Business with a TRO in a Trade Secret Theft Case

A team of Meyers Nave commercial litigators, led by Nancy Harris, obtained a Temporary Restraining Order that will protect a client company’s trade secrets and greatly reduce unfair competition from a business that two employees set up with stolen confidential information. The San Francisco-based global client is one of the world’s leading purveyors of high-value, collectible vintage and modern timepieces, with a specialty focus on Rolex sports watches.

The case involves a former employee and a current employee who had access to customer information, a lead-generation customer wish list, and pricing and margin information. The former employee left the client company and within months launched a competing business. The other participant, while still working at the client company, provided the former employee with client contact information, shared proprietary pricing data, and steered customers to the former employee. The critical evidence came from a forensic examination of electronic communications between the two men, including text messages that explicitly indicated that they knew their conduct had to be hidden from the client company and that the current employee intended to stay employed at the client company to benefit the competing business.

The defendants are immediately enjoined from further use or disclosure of the client company’s information and must immediately return all such information in whatever form. A TRO is usually referred to as the be-all and end-all of unfair competition litigation because, if it is granted, the unfair competitive activities are immediately stopped, misappropriated trade secrets are returned, and the competitive damage to the plaintiff-company is contained or stopped. The Meyers Nave victory was litigated in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California and asserted claims under the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, a new law that is now rapidly being used by companies throughout the U.S.

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