A recent court case from the Eastern District of Louisiana provides some useful guidance for parties seeking fee shifting in trade secrets litigation.

In December 2016, plaintiffs Source Production & Equipment Co., Inc. (SPEC) and affiliates filed an action in which they alleged violations of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), the Louisiana Uniform Trade Secrets Act (LUTSA), and the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act (LUTPA) against defendants Isoflex USA (IUSA) and Richard McKannay, Jr. (collectively, the IUSA defendants). After more than three years of litigation that “involved extensive discovery and motion practice,” the IUSA defendants brought a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs because they argued that plaintiffs’ DTSA and LUTSA claims were brought and maintained in bad faith.Continue Reading Court Awards Attorneys’ Fees to End “Long and Torturous Litigation”

On appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a denial of summary judgment holding that there was no misappropriation of trade secrets.

The conflict arose when three former employees of Crop Ventures, Inc., left to co-found Farmobile, LLC. Farmers Edge Inc. (the successor in interest of Crop Ventures) subsequently sued the three former employees and Farmobile for breach of contract, breach of duty of loyalty, and misappropriation of trade secrets. Farmers Edge filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims in its First Amended Complaint, which was denied in full by the district court. Farmers Edge appealed.Continue Reading Eighth Circuit Affirms Rejection of Trade Secret Claim: Information Freely Shared with a Single Third Party Without a Confidentiality Agreement Was Not Subject to Reasonable Efforts to Protect