A blog of trade secrets news, verdicts, and resources

May 2011 Archives

Why are Credit Scores Such a Mystery?


Do you know how your credit score is calculated?
Most people don't because it's a trade secret, and the private firms that collect credit data are poorly regulated. You have better chance of reading classified U.S. State Department cables on Wikileaks.

It's troubling that your so-called "FICO" score, which measures your ability to pay back loans and maintain credit, is such a black box. This one number can determine not only your ability to get a mortgage or installment loan, but how much interest you'll pay over time.

How important is your FICO score? Some 90% of banks use it in determining your finance charges. The lower your score, the higher the interest rate. (The highest-possible FICO score is 850, but even people with stellar credit don't tend to exceed 825.)

Fox Business, please click here.

Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/05/25/credit-scores-mystery/#ixzz1O0AF89Rm

County jury rules in favor of owner in $1.5M lawsuit

By Anna Waugh
A Montgomery County jury unanimously found in favor of a company owner at the end of a trial to determine a $1.5 million trade secret lawsuit.

Senior State District Judge Jerry Sandal signed a judgment April 25 on the unanimous verdict the jury delivered April 15 in the matter of a trade secret belonging to Outlet Works of Texas Inc. valued at $1.5 million.

The jury, sitting in the 9th state District Court, found that former Outlet Works employee Buck Keeter and Express Rail Industries Inc. were at fault for stealing the trade secret, according to court documents.

To read the complete news article from yourhoustonnews.com, please click here.

By Michael Gorman

Google and its poached Paypal employees got sued for trade secret misappropriation yesterday, but we didn't know the dirty details until now. A peek at PayPal's complaint reveals there's a bit more to the story. Apparently, Paypal and Google were in talks last year to use PayPal for payments in the Android Market. Osama Bedier was in charge of those negotiations for PayPal in October of 2010, when the deal was supposed to close, but was allegedly interviewing for a mobile payment position at Google at the same time.

The complaint claims that Bedier initially rebuffed El Goog's advances, told PayPal of the job offer and professed that he would stay, but jumped ship a month later (bringing some PayPal coworkers with him) after being recruited by Stephanie Tilenius and the almighty dollar. Once it hired Osama, Google reportedly put the brakes on the PayPal deal and created Google Wallet. Then Google, Bedier, and Tilenius got slapped with a lawsuit.

In order to continue reading this interesting article from Engadget, please click here.

Jury Rules on Mayo Scientist Trade Secrets Case

By: Jake Anderson

A federal jury reportedly found that Peter Elkin misappropriated Mayo Clinic's trade secrets, but Mayo was also ordered to pay the doctor royalties for software he created while employed there.

After four hours of deliberation, a federal jury on Wednesday determined that a former Mayo Clinic scientist misappropriated the health care giant's trade secrets and breached an employment contract when he left for a different job in New York, according to a report by the Star Tribune.

To continue reading this interesting article from Twin Cities Business, click here.

Former employee stole trade secrets worth $300K, suit alleges

A longtime employee of a California company intentionally absconded with confidential and proprietary client and marketing files worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the company alleges in a state court complaint.

Amcor Packaging Distribution alleges Charles McHugh conspired with his father, co-defendant William L. McHugh, to misappropriate Amcor's trade secrets, alleged to exceed $300,000 in value.

According to the complaint, filed in the Orange County Superior Court, Charles McHugh began working as a sales representative for Amcor in 1994.

A valued employee, McHugh became a member of Amcor's President's Club, an honor bestowed on the top 25 sales representatives in the company, the suit says. He made the President's Club for 10 years and because of his success earned the title of vice president of sales, according to Amcor.

To read the rest of this interesting article from Westlaw Journal of IP, please click here.

Cybercriminals now target 'trade secrets' of companies

After chasing personal information of individuals world over, cybercriminals are now targeting the trade secrets of well-known global organizations including those in India as they see greater value in selling a corporation's proprietary information to competitors and foreign governments, according to a report.

"Cybercriminals are now focusing on trade secrets of global companies. Sophisticated attacks like Operation Aurora, and even unsophisticated attacks like Night Dragon, have infiltrated some of the of the largest, and seemingly most protected corporations in the world," says Simon Hunt, VP and chief technology officer, endpoint security at McAfee.

To continue reading this news article from Press Trust Of India, please click here.

St Jude Awarded $2.3 Billion In Trade-Secrets Case


A California court jury awarded St. Jude Medical Inc. a $2.3 billion verdict against a former employee and the company that he founded for stealing trade secrets.

The St. Paul, Minn., company said a jury in the Los Angeles Superior Court found former employee Yongning Zou stole trade secrets in order to set up a rival medical-device company, Nervicon. The jury on April 22 awarded a total of $1.47 billion against Mr. Zou and an additional $868 million against Nervicon, according to St. Jude.

The award follows a preliminary injunction issued in November 2010 that prevented Mr. Zou and Nervicon from using or disclosing any of St. Jude's trade secrets as well as confidential or proprietary information, according to St. Jude.

To continue reading this interesting article from WSJ, please click here.

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