A flash drive is a convenient way to take trade-secrets.

Picking up on last week’s entry

Upon receiving the case, Eagle began an analysis of what documents Jones and Francis had accessed or stolen. The Court ordered the defendants to turn over any flash drives or laptops that they had. With the help of a former Treasury agent, Taylor and Walton found numerous documents Jones had taken on a flash drive. The most important item was an Eagle business plan that Paper Tiger took and simply changed the name. Walton paraded this document in front of the jury throughout the trial. Besides the documents that were produced, Eagle’s case also focused on documents that were not produced. He prepared a spoliation scorecard identifying all the documents that were missing.   Walton and Taylor successfully tried the case in front of a jury and obtained a multi-million dollar verdict that is now on appeal.

With respect to maintaining the integrity of trade secrets, Walton makes the following recommendations: (1) image the laptops or computers of any departing employees to determine what they have on their computers; (2) have policies in place that restrict access to company trade-secrets; (3) have a relationship with a vendor to perform any type of imaging or forensic services the company needs; and (4) don’t leave these tasks to the company IT person. With respect to new employees, Walton recommends that new employees sign off on some type of document that indicates they are not using former employers’ trade secrets.