Companies face an ever increasing risk of theft and misuse of intellectual property, especially trade secrets and other forms of sensitive business information. Today, more than ever before, threats from companies operating in China and other emerging markets have heightened this risk, although the threat from domestic competitors remains intense. Recent examples include instances where “corporate spies” placed in positions of trust by U.S. employers have left those companies with critical information and delivered that information to global competitors. In 2010, to combat this risk, the U.S. Department of Justice formed a Task Force on Intellectual Property headed by an Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator to investigate and prosecute criminal acts of corporate espionage, and in 2012, the Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a billboard campaign publicizing the $13 billion lost by misuse of American companies’ trade secrets.

Kilpatrick Townsend counsels clients on the ways to protect their intellectual property from corporate espionage and other threats. Through audits and compliance checks, we work with our clients to safeguard their confidential business information at the outset. We have extensive experience enforcing trade secret rights in civil and criminal litigation, as well as in litigation prosecuting claims to protect electronic data under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and similar state statutes. Our team of former federal prosecutors assists corporate clients with internal investigations and formulating a response to government investigations, both when the client is a victim and when the client employs an individual accused of trade secret theft from a previous job.

Because commercial exploitation of trade secrets is often facilitated by dishonest employees and contractors, thorough management of employee and contractor activities is critical to trade secret protection. We also counsel our clients to protect themselves when hiring new employees, particularly if the employee was previously employed by a competitor and has knowledge of the competitor’s confidential information and trade secrets. Our Technology Litigation, Outsourcing and Labor & Employment attorneys regularly collaborate to provide clients with comprehensive, multi-faceted approaches to employment contracts, confidentiality and non-competition agreements, security audits, and business processes to ensure maximum protection of this intellectual property on a domestic and international basis.

As companies expand into emerging markets, and with the increasing use of technology to transmit corporate data, the risk of trade secret theft through corporate espionage continues to grow. Our attorneys regularly monitor industry, technological and legal developments in this area to advise our clients on how to best protect their important assets from attack.

Knowledge Center

DateTitleKnowledge Type
24 June 2016
ABA IP Litigation Committee Roundtable Events
18 May 2016
A Few Highlights From The Newly-Enacted Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act Legal Alerts
24 February 2016
EU Passes New Trade Secret Directive to Harmonize Trade Secret Laws of Member States Legal Alerts
01 October 2015
Preventing Corporate Espionage: Risks Posed by Mobile Device Use by Employees Events
01 October 2015
Preventing Corporate Espionage: Risks Posed by Mobile Device Use by Employees Podcasts
12 November 2014
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series: Innovation, the European Market and the New EU Trade Secrets Directive Events
03 June 2014
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series: A New Approach to IP Protection and Safeguarding Trade Secrets Podcasts
03 June 2014
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series: A New Approach to IP Protection and Safeguarding Trade Secrets Events
01 May 2014
Corporate Espionage Newsletter
Source: Kilpatrick Townsend
Other Publications
19 March 2014
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series - Part 3 Events
19 March 2014
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series - Part 3 Podcasts
14 January 2014
Responding to the Threat of Corporate Espionage Events
13 November 2013
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series - Part 2 Events
13 November 2013
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series - Part 2 Podcasts
01 November 2013
Corporate Espionage Newsletter
Source: Kilpatrick Townsend
Other Publications
26 September 2013
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series - Part 1 Events
26 September 2013
Corporate Espionage Webinar Series - Part 1 Podcasts
01 May 2013
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Disloyal Employees: How Far Should the Statute Go To Protect Employers from Trade Secret Theft?
Source: 64 Hastings Law Journal 5
Articles
08 January 2013
Important Changes to the Federal Economic Espionage Act That Protect Trade Secrets Legal Alerts
04 October 2012
Protecting Trade Secrets Podcasts
25 September 2012
Case Study: WEC Carolina Energy v. Miller
Source: Law 360
Articles
10 September 2012
Fourth Circuit Widens Split Over CFAA and Employees Violating Computer Use Restrictions Legal Alerts
01 November 2011
Corporate Espionage and Unclean Hands — Lessons Learned from a $309 Million Judgment
Source: Financial Fraud Law Report
Articles
04 October 2011
Chief Executive Magazine: Corporate Espionage at Kilpatrick Townsend In the News
11 August 2011
Corporate Espionage and Unclean Hands - Lessons Learned from a $309 Million Judgment Legal Alerts
28 July 2011
IP Innovations Class: Corporate Espionage - How to Protect Your Company from Trade Secret Theft Events
12 May 2011
Georgia's New Law on Employment-Related Restrictive Covenants Is Enacted Again — Effective Date Issues Addressed Legal Alerts
08 May 2011
How to Prevent Misuse of Electronic Info – Training, Policies Help Protect Businesses from Rogue Employees
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution Article
Articles
21 December 2010
Fourth Amendment Protects Individual Information Stored by Third-Party Providers Legal Alerts
12 November 2010
Companies Can Guard Against Trade Secret Thefts
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle
Articles
11 November 2010
Update on New Georgia Law on Employment-Related Restrictive Covenants – Controversy Over Effective Date Legal Alerts
08 September 2010
Trade Secrets in Georgia: Legal Requirements and Best Practices for Enforcement Events
22 June 2010
Supreme Court Holds Public Employer Lawfully Reviewed Employee’s Text Messages Legal Alerts
01 December 2009
What Every Company Should Know and Do About Employee Background Checks
Source: Kilpatrick Stockton LLP
Other Publications
03 September 2009
IP Innovations Class: Protecting Your Company's IP and Technology Events
03 June 2009
Trade Secrets: Cost Effective Protection for Valuable Business Information Events
01 April 2009
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as a Vehicle for Protecting Trade Secrets
Source: Intellectual Property Litigation
Articles
01 January 2009
Security Breach Notification Laws
Source: Technology Litigation Desk Reference
Other Publications
01 January 2009
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: An Underutilized Litigation Weapon
Source: Technology Litigation Desk Reference
Other Publications

Experience Center

Summary judgment for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.
Served as lead counsel on behalf of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company against claims for misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair trade more Featured
Trade secrets litigation for a software developer
The firm served as lead counsel for a Georgia-based software developer in a factually complex theft of trade secrets case involving the copying and more Featured
Liveops Inc. v. Teleo Inc. et al.
Successfully defended trade secret misappropriation claims on behalf of former company founder and entrepreneur. (N.D. Cal.) more
Trade secret, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and Civil RICO litigation in Atlanta federal district court
Represented Alliance of Professionals & Consultants, a major temporary staffing company, in a lawsuit in federal district court in Atlanta more Featured
Constar Inc. v. Dintaman (trade secret/restrictive covenant litigation in Mississippi federal court)
The firm served as lead counsel for Constar, an international plastics container manufacturer, in a trade secret/restrictive covenant action against more
Trade secret and restrictive covenant litigation in Georgia federal court
Lead counsel on behalf of York International, a large independent supplier of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration products,  more Featured
BellSouth Corp. v. Forsee (trade secret/restrictive covenant litigation before Georgia trial and appellate courts and in arbitration)
The firm served as lead counsel for BellSouth in a highly-publicized dispute involving Sprint’s hiring of the second highest-ranking corporate more Featured
Aerospace America, Inc. v. Abatement Technologies, Inc.
Represented Abatement Technologies Inc., manufacturer of negative air machines used for asbestos removal, in an action brought by a competitor based more
Copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets for corporate education and training company
Represented corporate education and training company asserting theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement claims for copying website against more
Computer intrusions and related computer crimes for a Fortune 500 company
Advised a Fortune 500 company with respect to computer intrusions and related computer crimes. more
Trade secrets litigation services for a major re-seller of telecommunications equipment
Represented a major North Carolina based re-seller of telecommunications equipment in an action against a former employee who violated a more Featured
Trade secrets litigation for a major physician staffing and placement firm in Georgia state court
The firm served as lead counsel on behalf of a major physician staffing and placement firm in an action against a competitor and former more Featured
Trademark litigation for Pearson Education Inc.
Represented Pearson Education Inc., the world's largest educational publisher, in obtaining an injunction to prevent the use of mymathlabhelp.com, as  more
Misappropriation of trade secrets by a former employee of BB&T
Represented Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) as plaintiff in a case against a former employee for misappropriation of trade secrets  more Featured
Patent and trademark advice for a Fortune 200 global consumer goods company
Represents a Fortune 200 global consumer goods corporation and provides advice related to protecting their food production processes and more
Major trade secret misappropriation and breach of license case for aerospace defense contractor
Lead counsel representing an aerospace defense contractor in a major trade secret misappropriation and breach of license dispute alleging that the more Featured
Intellectual property portfolio management services for one of the largest apparel companies in the world
Represents one of the largest apparel companies in the world in protecting their hosiery, hosiery machinery, knitwear, casual wear, shoes, lingerie more Featured
Restrictive covenant litigation for EyeWonder in New York federal court and in arbitration
The firm served as lead counsel for EyeWonder, Inc. in the Southern District of New York to enforce restrictive covenants when its former head of

 more Featured

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Represented the HoltraChem Manufacturing Co., a producer of chlorine and other chemicals, in the largest OSHA fine in North Carolina history. Our more

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