Our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, March 24, 2014 will be a discussion of a recent 9th circuit decision and a criminal trade secret jury trial. Brief synopses appear below.
Garcia v. Google et. al., Case No. 12-57301 (9th Cir. Feb. 26, 2014) (available here.). Here, the panel reversed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction. Plaintiff had requested removal from YouTube.com of an anti-Islamic film that used a performance that the plaintiff made for a different film. The panel concluded that the plaintiff established a likelihood of success on the merits because she proved an independent copyright interest in her performance; Garcia argued that she never intended her performance to be part of a joint work and that her fixed performance, however minimal, warrants independent copyright protection as to the portion of her contribution, which the panel agreed with. The panel further held that the plaintiff established a likelihood that irreparable harm because she was subject to death threats.
On March 5, 2014, a federal jury in San Francisco found a California businessman and a former DuPont Co. engineer guilty of conspiring to steal DuPont’s proprietary method of manufacturing titanium dioxide and selling the information to Chinese government-owned companies for $28 million. Among other things, they were convicted of trade secret theft and represent the first convictions under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. The FBI issued the following press release, accessible here. On March 19, defendants filed a Motion for Acquittal, arguing among other things that trade secret theft should not be criminalized. You can view the brief here: Liew acquittal.
All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, March 24, 2014 at Noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Noelle Smith by 9 am Monday morning.