Trade Secrets

Representative Experience

Breaking the Mold

Quarles & Brady successfully defended an injection mold manufacturer, and its owners, in a lawsuit involving claims of patent infringement, violations of the RICO Act, violations of the CFAA, misappropriation of trade secrets, and various other intentional torts. The defendants won summary judgment on the patent, RICO, and CFAA claims. They also won at trial on the intentional tort claims and twelve asserted trade secret claims.

Keeping Secrets Safe

Quarles & Brady served as lead trial counsel for Metso Minerals in its trade secret theft, patent infringement, computer hacking, and Lanham Act case against FL Smidth-Excel. The case settled shortly before trial with a $25 million payment to Metso, the largest reported settlement or judgment in Wisconsin in 2010. “Patent Settlement Largest Reported Outcome,” Wisconsin Law Journal, January 18, 2011.

Emergency Injunction

Quarles & Brady obtained an emergency injunction restricting a former sales manager of a major international consumer products company from using or disclosing confidential information and trade secrets, and compelling production of all computer and electronic storage equipment, including that issued by the new employer. Following the employee's resignation to join a competitor, forensic examination of a company-issued laptop revealed that hours before, the employee had copied thousands of files to an external hard drive. When confronted, the employee turned over the hard drive and gave assurance that no further copies had been made. Forensic examination revealed additional downloading. Quarles & Brady sought and obtained an emergency injunction and recovered all intellectual property.

Protecting Against Theft

Quarles & Brady represented an international industrial automation client in a matter against five former employees engaged in a conspiracy to steal confidential information and documents to start a competing business. Through extensive use of computer forensics to establish theft and investigation by local and federal authorizes, the firm secured a quick and favorable settlement, restricting the former employees from engaging in certain competitive activities and requiring them to pay royalties on work already secured.

Dismissing Claims

In a significant and precedential decision upheld by the Seventh Circuit, Quarles & Brady obtained dismissal of the plaintiff's trade secrets claim due to the plaintiff's failure to sufficiently identify its trade secrets. This published decision is often cited by courts in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin as one of the seminal decisions in this area. IDX Systems Corp. v. Epic Systems Corp. (W.D. Wisconsin and United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit).

Influencing Competitors

Quarles & Brady represented a Fortune 500 manufacturer in trade secret litigation against a former CEO, CFO, and others who started a competing company. Following numerous depositions and related discovery, Quarles & Brady secured a settlement whereby the competitor shut down its production facility, redesigned its entire product lines based on engineering drawings approved by our client, and ceased using marketing materials, sales literature, and other infringing material.

Preliminary Injunction

Quarles & Brady helped a large motion control and water management company obtain a preliminary injunction against a former employee working for a competitor for 18 months. Using computer forensics, Quarles & Brady was able to show that the former employee had stolen thousands of confidential files at the time of his resignation. The case settled shortly after the injunction was issued.

Protecting Designs

Quarles & Brady filed trade secret and Lanham Act litigation on behalf of a toy manufacturer after a potential acquisition partner misappropriated designs and confidential information. The Quarles & Brady team negotiated a settlement requiring our client's competitor to alter the competing product designs, notify customers, and modify their advertising materials and website.

Non-Compete Agreements

Quarles & Brady represented multiple information technology clients in two suits involving claims of misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of non-compete agreements. These cases gave Quarles & Brady the opportunity to be one of the first firms to argue about the impact of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s decision in Star Direct v. Dal Pra, a significant non-compete case that addressed the issue of when restrictive covenants are divisible from each other such that they can be separately enforced.  

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