In an era where trade secret misappropriation battles can shape corporate landscapes, the Apple v. Rivos case stands as a stark reminder of the importance of diligent onboarding practices when it comes to trade secrets.  In this case, the court’s scrutiny of employee conduct underscores a crucial lesson: companies should ensure that new hires refrain from carrying confidential information from their previous employers. As exemplified by defendant Rivos, making an effort to remind new hires to avoid retaining confidential information can also go a long way.Here, we discuss the intricacies of the Apple v. Rivos case and provide several takeaways.

Background

The conflict emerged in 2022 when Apple accused former employees, who had joined Rivos, of misappropriating proprietary system-on-a-chip (“SoC”) design information. Rivos is a “stealth-mode” startup—a company that operates in a low-profile, secretive manner, keeping its innovations and developments under wraps until launch—founded to design and market SoCs.  At the time Apple filed its complaint, nearly fifty of its employees had left to join Rivos. 

Apple’s complaint included claims for trade secret misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) against Rivos and several of Apples former employees as well as claims for breach of contract against the former employees for retaining confidential information after termination of their employment with Apple. In response, Rivos and the former employees counterclaimed that Apple employed illegal measures to intimidate employees contemplating leaving the company in violation of Section 17200 of the California Business and Professional Code.

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

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Photo of Edward Wang Edward Wang

As a litigation associate, Eddie Wang focuses his practice on complex commercial and intellectual property matters with an emphasis on patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. He has experience litigating a broad range of technologies including mobile applications, cellular technology, digital televisions, video codecs…

As a litigation associate, Eddie Wang focuses his practice on complex commercial and intellectual property matters with an emphasis on patents, trademarks, and trade secrets. He has experience litigating a broad range of technologies including mobile applications, cellular technology, digital televisions, video codecs, and fuel cells. In addition to commercial litigation and intellectual property, Eddie also leverages his technical background in privacy and cybersecurity matters.

Before practicing law, Eddie worked as a Patent Examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for nearly six years. While there, he examined patents related to memory for electrical computers and digital processing systems.

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.