The 2016 enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”) has led to an increase in trade secret litigation. The DTSA codified into federal law the right of an owner of a trade secret to sue in federal court when its trade secret had been misappropriated. Prior to the DTSA, with the absence of diversity jurisdiction, aggrieved trade secret owners had to pursue legal remedies under state law, typically under the Uniform Trade Secret Act (“UTSA”), which has been enacted by 47 states. Notably, the DTSA does not preempt state trade secret laws, therefore, aggrieved trade secret holders may seek civil remedies for alleged misappropriation under either state or federal law or both. Both the DTSA and the UTSA requires the trade secret owner to take reasonable measures to keep the trade secret information secret. The term reasonable can have many meanings in different contexts depending on a multitude of factors. As such, what may be considered reasonable efforts under one set of facts may be deemed deficient under another set of facts.

On August 9, 2023, Humanitary Medical Center Inc. (“Humanitary”), a healthcare services company with medical centers throughout Florida that specializes in treating Spanish speaking patients, brought a suit against its rival, Quality Care Health Services Inc. (“Quality Care”). Humanitary alleged violations of multiple state and federal law claims, including misappropriation of trade secrets under Florida’s UTSA, and misappropriation of trade secrets under the DTSA. Specifically, Humanitary claimed that its former chief operating officer and former vice president founded Quality Care after allegedly misappropriating Humanitary’s confidential business and trade secret information to unfairly compete with Humanitary. The allegedly misappropriated trade secret information included Humanitary’s patient list, employee roster, pricing information, billing information, vendor information, and business referral sources.

Read the full post on Proskauer’s Minding Your Business blog.

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Photo of Margaret Ukwu Margaret Ukwu

Margaret Ukwu is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the Intellectual Property and Mass Torts & Product Liability Groups. She focuses her practice on complex patent litigation involving a broad range of technologies, including pharmaceutical and medical devices, electrical…

Margaret Ukwu is an associate in the Litigation Department and a member of the Intellectual Property and Mass Torts & Product Liability Groups. She focuses her practice on complex patent litigation involving a broad range of technologies, including pharmaceutical and medical devices, electrical arts pertaining to mechanical systems, computer architecture, internet applications, mobile operating systems, wireless communications and user interfaces. She also advises clients on all aspects of patentability and provides patent counseling regarding invalidity, non-infringement and freedom to operate assessments.

Margaret also specializes in all aspects of pre-trial work and trial preparation, including drafting motions in limine, jury instructions, working on demonstrative and exhibit lists, preparing witnesses for trial and drafting opening and closing statements.

While in law school, Margaret interned for the Honorable Sam Rugege at the Supreme Court of Rwanda. Prior to practicing law, she worked as a control systems engineer at a large multinational company.

Photo of Baldassare Vinti Baldassare Vinti

Baldassare (“Baldo”) Vinti heads Proskauer’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group.

Baldo’s practice focuses on litigating patent, false advertising, trade secret, life sciences, trademark and contractual matters in federal and state courts and before the International Trade Commission. He is a seasoned trial attorney responsible…

Baldassare (“Baldo”) Vinti heads Proskauer’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group.

Baldo’s practice focuses on litigating patent, false advertising, trade secret, life sciences, trademark and contractual matters in federal and state courts and before the International Trade Commission. He is a seasoned trial attorney responsible for all aspects of litigation, including Markman hearings, appeals before the Federal Circuit, case preparation and strategy, depositions, motion practice, and settlement negotiations. He has represented clients in high-stakes matters involving a broad range of technologies, including medical devices, diagnostics, immunoassays, prosthetics, pharmaceuticals, dental implants, electronic medical records systems, encryption technology, wound dressings, digital video compression, electronic book delivery and security systems, mobile media technologies, navigation and location-based services, bandwidth management, bar code scanning, lasers , and other technologies. Baldo has represented numerous major corporations, including Arkema S.A., British Telecommunications PLC, Church & Dwight Co., Inc., Henry Schein, Inc., Maidenform Brands Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Ossur North America Inc., Panasonic Corp., Sony Corp., Welch Foods, Inc., and Zenith Electronics LLC.

In addition, Baldo regularly handles transactional work, including intellectual property due diligence, licensing, intellectual property structural transactions, patentability studies, infringement/non-infringement opinions, and client counseling in intellectual property matters.

Baldo is an author and frequent commentator on patent issues pertaining to medical devices and a host of other intellectual property topics, and has been quoted in the National Law Journal, Bloomberg BNA, Law360, Westlaw Journal and Inside Counsel magazine. He is also a regular contributor of articles published in Medical Product Outsourcing magazine that deal with the medical device industry.

Baldo served as a judicial intern for Hon. John E. Sprizzo of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and for Hon. Charles A. LaTorella of the New York Supreme Court.