Confidentiality

Cyber Risk – Are your crown jewels safe?

Question #1: How long would it take for someone to download critical data from a repair station computer onto a small thumb drive, put it in their pocket, and walk right out the door?  Best guess for even a novice hack – probably a minute or less.

Question #2: How long would it take to detect the incident, or even investigate the scope of the loss?  Probably days of IT, legal and management time and effort – if you even notice the breach at all.

Question #3: How long will it take to recover from this type of incident?  Getting back to normal will likely take months and the damages could accrue for years into the future.

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Employee Non-Compete – Teeth hold in Massachusetts

An employee who signed four non-compete and non-solicitation agreements as part of his employment and promotion over a six-year period could not escape the strong hold of a one-year non-compete requirement.  This result held in favor of the employer in both the initial Superior Court action by the company to enforce the non-compete with a preliminary injunction as well as on appeal by the employee to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court.  For the employee, the result prevents him from being able to take the new job – this despite having already resigned from the employer with whom he is bound by the non-compete.  For the employer, the result preserves the one-year non-compete period – thus limiting the potential loss of confidential information and/or improper use of “goodwill” belonging to the company.

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A Case Study in Trade Secrets – AvidAir v. Rolls-Royce

Reading case law isn’t just for attorneys.  If you are part of the aviation manufacture, repair or overhaul industry then the recent case AvidAir Helicopter Supply, Inc. v. Rolls-Royce Corporation (8th Cir. 2011) is a must read.  Decided December 13, 2011 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit, AvidAir v. Rolls-Royce provides an excellent summary of several important intellectual property concepts, including the rights to proprietary documents and trade secrets contained in most OEM overhaul manuals and technical bulletins – in this instance technical documents made available to Rolls-Royce Model 250 engine Authorized Maintenance Centers (AMCs).  The brief summary below focuses on one of the key legal concepts address by the court in the appeal.

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Confidentiality – the ABCs of NDAs

Confidentiality obligations are an ever present part of our working lives. We owe duties of confidentiality to our employers and our clients or customers. Whether you produce a manufactured product or provide a consulting service you are likely bound by written obligations of confidentiality. Sometimes these obligations operate in the background – the specifics being unknown to us as individuals. In other instances they are front and center – part of the first step in our interactions with a business partner. However you confront them understanding the nature of your confidentiality obligations is an essential part of today’s business environment.

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