Artificial Intelligence

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The court in Planner 5D v. Facebook, one of the first cases about trade secrets in artificial intelligence datasets, has granted the motion to dismiss on the copyright claims and denied the motion on the trade secret claims.

Trade secrets. The court held that the amended complaint sufficiently pleaded that the Planner 5D data files were trade secrets and that the defendants used improper means to acquire those trade secrets.

Defendants first argued that the Planner 5D files were not trade secrets. Princeton contended that Planner 5D designed its website to transmit object or scene data files to users’ browsers, where they were automatically stored in the browser’s cache, which enabled any user to access and reproduce those files. While the terms of use prohibited downloading material generally and prohibited using scraping tools, the terms of use expressly excluded “page caching” from the list of prohibited activities. Princeton relied on multiple exhibits and a declaration purportedly showing these technical details, but the court rejected much of that evidence because courts typically do not consider extrinsic evidence (e.g., exhibits not attached to the complaint) to resolve a motion to dismiss.
Continue Reading Planner 5D v. Facebook: Trade Secrets and Copyright Update

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Computer forensic information often becomes an issue in trade secret cases, as computer artifacts or other electronic information (such as on external hard drives, cell phones, etc.) can sometimes prove or disprove whether a person accessed, used, transferred, or destroyed trade secret material. If the parties or the judge determines that the computer forensic information is relevant, the next key question is how much needs to be exchanged and what limitations will be in place. The producing party often will argue that computers include numerous irrelevant files and artifacts, privileged communications, and private information that should not be subject to discovery. One middle ground is to use a neutral examiner, in which the electronic data is never handed directly to the opposing party. Instead, a neutral computer expert will field requests and/or create reports of the pertinent data.
Continue Reading Chinese Self-Driving Car Company Must Make Its Source Code Available in Lawsuit Against Tesla but Only Through a Neutral Examiner

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In 2013, Bloomberg and iSentium began a business relationship to consider incorporating iSentium’s sentiment-analysis app (iSENSE) into the Bloomberg platform. The app identified and analyzed market-related opinions posted to social media, anticipated changes in the price of publicly traded stocks, and made information available to traders. Id. The parties entered a non-disclosure agreement and an agreement titled “Developer Agreement for Bloomberg Application Portal” (the Development Agreement). Id. at *2. The Developer Agreement provided that “no action arising out of it may be brought by iSentium more than one year after the cause of action’s accrual.” Id. The iSENSE app appeared on Bloomberg for an unspecified amount of time, but in February 2016, iSentium requested that Bloomberg remove the app because it was no longer technologically compatible with the Bloomberg platform. Id. Shortly thereafter in July 2016, Bloomberg announced its own sentiment-analysis app. Id. Subsequently in October 2017, iSentium brought a claim for misappropriation of its trade secrets. Id.
Continue Reading Artificial Intelligence Company Fails to Sustain Trade Secret Claims