IPWatchdog.com is in the process of transitioning to a newer version of our website. Please be patient with us while we work out all the kinks.

Posts Tagged: "california"

Capitol Hill Roundup

This week on Capitol Hill is another light one in terms of hearings focusing on topics related to technology and innovation. Although the House of Representatives is in session all week after the Columbus Day holiday, there are no hearings scheduled for the week as of Sunday,  and the House is about to enter a few weeks’ worth of district work periods. In the Senate, the Commerce Committee convenes a hearing to look at recent consumer data privacy laws passed in Europe and California, and the Banking Committee explores the potential of blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the national financial system.

California Ahead of Federal Government in Cybersecurity for the Internet of Things

The bill would create a new title within California Civil Code named Security of Connected Devices. The first part of this title would require a manufacturer of a connected device, defined as any object capable of connecting to the Internet and assigned either an Internet protocol address or a Bluetooth address, to equip the device with reasonable security features appropriate to the nature and function of the device, appropriate to the information it may collect or transmit and designed to protect both the device and the information it contains from unauthorized access.

House Energy Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Energy Storage for Improved Grid Reliability in Rural Communities and Renewables

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy recently convened a hearing titled Powering America: The Role of Energy Storage in the Nation’s Electricity System. The day’s hearing focused on the current state of energy storage systems operating across the country as well as challenges facing the further deployment of technologies designed to reduce strain on the electrical grid while meeting consumer demands for energy.

Lofgren Supported Eliminating BRI Before She Was Against It

Congresswoman Lofgren seems quick to forget that she was one of the original co-sponsors of the Innovation Act when it was introduced into the House back in February 2015. Had the Innovation Act passed, it would have required patents challenged in IPR proceedings to be construed in the exact same manner that a district court would have required in a civil action to invalidate the patent. So, it seems Lofgren was for the Phillips standard and eliminating BRI before she was against it.

View from the Courtroom: What to Expect When You Try to Get a TRO in Your Unfair Competition Case

Experience shows that most unfair competition or trade secret theft issues can be resolved without the need for litigation; often, an exchange of letters between the parties’ respective attorneys is sufficient to resolve the matter. However, litigation is sometimes unavoidable, and when it occurs, the employers involved are often surprised by how fast an unfair competition case can move to a practical conclusion, and how little time there might be to prepare for the crucial court hearing… The TRO hearing is often the be-all and end-all of unfair competition litigation because, if it is granted, the unfair competitive activities are immediately stopped, any stolen trade secrets are returned, and the competitive damage to the plaintiff-employer is contained or stopped. The case is usually thereafter resolved by a settlement. Essentially, if the TRO is granted, there typically is not much else of consequence to litigate between the parties.

What Will Not Work to Protect Trade Secrets or Enforce Non-Competes in California

Employers should think twice before including the unenforceable provisions in employment contracts merely for their deterrent effect. Such a practice is risky. If an employer terminates an employee who refuses to sign an agreement that contains an unenforceable non-compete provision, such action would constitute a wrongful termination in violation of public policy and would entitle the employee to recover tort damages, including punitive damages, as well as economic damages… Given the strong protections against non-competes in California, it is too risky to require employees to sign employment agreements that contain these provisions. All employment agreements entered into with employees who live or work in California should be carefully reviewed to ensure compliance.

California Non-Competes: Things You Can Do ‘Around the Edges’

There are not many things an employer can do to prevent unfettered competition by a former employee. B&P Section 16600 states that “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.” The statute provides three exceptions, none of which apply to the typical employer/employee relationship: (1) a person who sells the goodwill of a business or sells substantially all of its operating assets may lawfully agree to refrain from carrying on a similar business; (2) a partner may, upon the anticipation of the partnership dissolution or disassociation from the partnership, lawfully agree not to carry on a similar business; and (3) any member of a limited liability company may lawfully agree not to carry on a similar business.

Developing a Plan for Employee Departures in California

As discussed elsewhere in this Take 5, although California employers generally cannot restrict an employee’s ability to work elsewhere, California employers can protect their trade secrets and confidential information. One pillar of a successful plan to do so is having an employee departure protocol.

Critical Importance of Realistically Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

California employers often face an upward battle when it comes to protecting against competitive activity by former employees… In order to safeguard their trade secrets, companies doing business in California need to be on the offensive to ensure that they are properly protected at both the beginning and end of the employment relationship. At the beginning of an employment relationship, employers may set the groundwork for protecting trade secrets by entering into confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements with their employees. These agreements will help establish one element of a claim under the UTSA, which is that the employer took reasonable steps to identify its trade secrets and maintain their confidentiality.

California passes state law prohibiting state park concessionaires from owning trademarks

The California state law states that state park concession contracts are prohibited from providing a contracting party with trademark or service mark interests for names associated with a state park venue. Any such contracts offering trademark or service mark interests will be considered void and unenforceable under the terms of this law as of January 1st, 2017. Concessionaires who make a legal claim to trademark rights on names associated with state park resources will be disqualified from further consideration as a bidder on California state park concession contracts.

Flood management tech seeks to reduce risks of fatalities, property damage

The most common type of severe weather emergency that affects American citizens and property owners is flash flooding, according to the National Flood Insurance Program. Flash floods, which can be caused by torrential downpours or the failure of man-made structures like dams or levees, causes rapid flooding of a low-lying area within six hours of the flood’s precipitating event. Half of all flash flooding fatalities are vehicle-related. With a coming El Niño that could dump a heavy amount of rainfall on southern California this winter, we wanted to revisit our Disaster Tech series to take a closer look at some flood management innovations being pursued to aid those in areas prone to flooding.

Western U.S. drought sparks innovation in irrigation management, desalination

A push for innovation to solve the water crisis has been kickstarted this summer in some part due to an executive order from California Governor Jerry Brown that initiated a drought technology program intended to accelerate the development of innovative water and energy saving technologies.

California won’t likely benefit from El Niño rains

Unlike Big Bear Lake, which will collect the runoff snowfall or rain, much of the rest of southern California is ill equipped to take advantage of El Niño rains. Those familiar with southern California will know that in beach towns there are signs on or near drains warning people not to dump things into the gutter because whatever goes into the drain will be released into the ocean. That, of course, also means that water that falls in beach communities in southern California will not be collected, or even useful. Due to perpetual poor government planning, even if El Niño does drop large amounts of rain water on southern California much of it will simply wind up in the ocean.

Strong El Niño weather pattern could douse some of California’s drought problem

We may not know the extent of rainfall California will receive for several months, but it has been made abundantly clear that El Niño is definitely coming. Even if we were to experience a wet and active El Niño this year, it wouldn’t likely be a healing salve for the entire state of California. El Niño’s effects are strongest in the southern parts of California. In the central and northern parts of the state, rainfall amounts aren’t really affected all that much. Furthermore, with much of California’s water reservoir system in the central and northern parts of the state, those basins will be unable to help capture excessive rainfall, which could mean real disaster for parts of Southern California.

The University of California patents treatments for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease

The University of California maintains a portfolio of 11,556 active patent grants. Patented technologies which are currently available for licensing through UC include laser scanners for eye tracking, cardiovascular disorder treatments and environmentally friendly water treatment techniques. In 2013, the Regents of the University of California were issued 399 patents by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, tied for 89th-most. A great percentage of UC’s 2014 inventions were related to providing methods involving nucleic acids, host cells and pharmaceutical compositions.