Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition

Safeguarding trade secrets in the Information Age

In today’s competitive, technologically advanced global economy, industry leaders rely on Dechert to safeguard their confidential business information, in and out of court. We also regularly defend against, and work to forestall, allegations of trade secret misappropriation against our clients. Our experienced intellectual property lawyers help clients achieve these goals while taking into account, and taking steps to protect, patent rights, other intellectual property rights, and customer and employee relationships.

We regularly handle trade secret, unfair competition and non-compete disputes in highly competitive industries such as software, high technology, medical devices, life sciences and financial services.

We offer a full range of services to entities ranging from unsophisticated start-ups to well-established publicly traded companies, including:

  • Trade secret portfolio protection and dispute avoidance.
  • Pre-litigation counseling.
  • Prosecution and defense of trade secret misappropriation, improper disclosure and unfair competition claims.
  • Cooperation, communication and coordination with enforcement authorities.

Our lawyers also advise on how to respond to government requests for disclosure of trade secrets and proprietary information and assist in developing strategies to protect confidential information against other forms of unwanted disclosure.

Aggressive advocacy in complex trade secret and unfair competition litigation

Dechert’s litigation experience ranges from swift preemptive actions to avoid or mitigate the disruption resulting from employee raiding, unfair solicitation of clients and breaches of non-compete or nondisclosure agreements to full-blown “bet the company” actions between competitors of all sizes. Our trial-ready IP litigators have handled trade secret and unfair competition disputes in hundreds of state and federal courts throughout the United States as well as in many foreign jurisdictions. We are well equipped to determine the best course of action for a particular jurisdiction or venue. Clients particularly rely on our scientific and technical expertise – which allows us to clearly communicate scientific and technical information to lay audiences – and on our extensive work in business tort law, which gives us a keen understanding of the interplay between legal intricacies and business realities.

Comprehensive solutions to avoid information disputes

We work closely with clients to ensure their vital IP interests are protected and advanced by avoiding litigation whenever possible. Our experienced lawyers help develop and implement systems for identifying trade secrets and other confidential information, as well as policies and practices to prevent misappropriation and inadvertent disclosure.

Dechert’s trade secret counseling program includes assisting clients in the preparation and negotiation of:

  • Employment and separation agreements.
  • Proprietary information and inventions agreements.
  • Confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements, including with collaborators, suppliers and customers.

We also help clients find creative ways to strengthen their information systems.

  • PepsiCo, a leading global food and beverage company, in a dispute over the original formula for Pepsi.
  • WebMD, an online publisher of health and medical news and information, in a non-compete and trade secret case ending in an injunction in favor of WebMD.
  • Innovative Solutions & Support, a manufacturer of avionics equipment, in a patent and trade secret litigation resulting in a jury verdict and almost US$23 million judgment in favor of ISS. 
  • Synthes, a manufacturer of medical devices for the spine, in a trade secret and Lanham Act case resolved by a US$13.5 million payment to our client (and agreement not to solicit our client’s employees) following a two-week jury trial.
  • Amkor Technology, a leading supplier of outsourced semiconductor interconnect services, in a US$90 million trade secret, patent, copyright and unfair competition lawsuit, resulting in a highly favorable settlement.
  • Tribune Entertainment, in a trade secret/non-compete case involving a nationally broadcast program, resulting in a complete defeat of our adversary’s preliminary injunction motion following full evidentiary hearing.
  • MetLife, one of the largest life insurance companies in the world, in a trade secret lawsuit involving a tax-advantaged method of funding certain insurance products, resulting in complete victory at trial court and on appeal.
  • Bank of New York Mellon, in a non-compete and trade secret litigation involving the investment advisory business, in court and before FINRA.
  • Theravectys, a French biotech company, in obtaining 11 favorable decisions in 18 months for related disputes in France, Belgium and the U.S. related to lentiviral vector-based technology for vaccines.