A day in the life of a copyright lawyer

A day in the life of a copyright lawyer

A day in the life of a trade secret lawyer Bradley IM 450-01 Fall 2019 Steven L. Baron Case Example 1 Learning Curve Toys v. Playwood Toys

Case Example 1 Learning Curve Toys v. Playwood Toys LCT = licensee of Thomas the Tank Engine

PW = wooden toy manufacturer LCT and PW meet at NY Toy Fair LCT and PW meet at PWs manufacturing facility in Canada Case Example 1 Learning Curve Toys v. Playwood Toys After we sat down in the board room, Harry [Abraham of

Learning Curve] immediately said: "Look, we're going to disclose confidential information to you guys, and we're going to disclose some designs that Roy [Wilson of Learning Curve] has that are pretty confidential. If Brio were to get their hands on them, then we wouldn't like that. And we're going to do it under the basis of a confidential understanding."And I said: "I also have some things, some ideas on how to produce the track and produce the trains now that I've had a chance to

look at them for the last couple of days, and I think they're confidential as well. So if we're both okay with that, we should continue." So we did. Case Example 1 Learning Curve Toys v. Playwood Toys PW discloses to LCT idea for the ClicketyClack Track The parties meet a few more times but never

enter a contract LCT launches the Clickety-Clack Track and got an enormous boost to its sales PW sues for misappropriation of trade secret Case Example 1 Learning Curve Toys v. Playwood Toys

Case Example 1 Learning Curve Toys v. Playwood Toys Jury finds in favor of PW and awards $8M Judge reverses verdict PW appeals to Seventh Circuit Case Example 1 Learning Curve Toys v. Playwood Toys

Seventh Circuit reverses in favor of PW Concept was a secret outside PW Concept was a secret inside PW PW too reasonable steps to maintain secrecy Oral confidentiality agreement reasonable Concept was valuable to PW and its competitors Lack of time, effort and money to develop did not

matter Ease of duplication did not matter Case Example 2 MillerCoors v. Anheuser-Busch Case Example 2 MillerCoors v. Anheuser-Busch

MC sues AB for false advertising relating to ads where AB claimed Coors contained cornsyrup. AB counterclaimed that former MC employees stole precise recipes for brewing Bud Light How to litigate over secrets? Must you disclose the secret to litigate over secrets?

Case Example 2 MillerCoors v. Anheuser-Busch Take Aways On Trade Secret Law A secret remains a secret as long as you keep it a secret Efforts to keep the secret must be reasonable

Oral confidentiality agreements work, but written are better A trade secret can be something you come up with in a flash of inspiration Litigating trade secrets requires protective orders Beware the NDAs you sign!

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