Articles Posted in Litigation/Business Trials/Business Lawsuits/Business Litigation

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There’s no doubt that self-driving cars will be the next big thing in the automobile industry, which is why Google got so upset when a former employee allegedly took trade secrets regarding their self-driving technology to a competitor.

Anthony Levandowski claims he has been working on technology for driverless automobiles since he was in college. He entered a self-driving motorcycle into the Pentagon’s first competition for driverless vehicles in 2004, when he was still a graduate student at the University of California in Berkeley.

In 2007, Levandowski started working for Google on their maps program. When Google gave the go-ahead to start experimenting with self-driving automobiles, Levandowski was one of the first people chosen for the team.

Levandowski left Google early in 2016 to start his own business, a driverless truck company named Otto. That company was bought by Uber, at which point Levandowski became the vice president in charge of Uber’s driverless vehicle project. Continue reading

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Before now, if an organization had its trade secrets stolen, its only recourse was usually to bring an action against the perpetrator in state court under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which was adopted by most states to provide a uniform civil remedy for trade secret theft, or under state criminal laws. The only federal protection for trade secrets was criminal sanction under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996. That changed this May, when President Obama signed into law the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which gives owners of trade secrets a new federal civil cause of action for misappropriation of their proprietary information. The law is intended to provide an alternative to the current patchwork of state laws governing the issue, but not replace them; unlike the federal Copyright Act, for instance, DTSA does not pre-empt state law.

DTSA allows a plaintiff to seek relief in federal court for misappropriation of trade secrets “by improper means” related to a product or service in interstate or foreign commerce. Improper means is defined as theft, robbery, misrepresentation, espionage, or breach of a duty to maintain secrecy. The law establishes civil remedies such as injunctions and damages for actual loss and unjust enrichment, or a “reasonable” royalty where an injunction is not feasible. If a trade secret is “willfully or maliciously” misappropriated, damages may be doubled. Trade secrets are broadly defined to include all forms and types of information that the owner has taken reasonable measures to keep secret, and which derive independent, actual or potential economic value from being unknown to the public. Continue reading

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Super Lawyers named Illinois business dispute trial lawyers Peter Lubin and Vincent DiTommaso Super Lawyers in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation and DiTommaso-Lubin Associates Patrick Austermuehle and Andrew Murphy Rising Stars. DiTommaso-Lubin’s Illinois business trial lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, copyright, non-compete agreement, trademark and libel suits, consumer rights and many different types of business and commercial litigation disputes including lawsuits between businesses or between shareholders and owners of the same business.  Our Wheaton and Waukegan business dispute attorneys handle emergency business law suits involving copyrights, trademarks, injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. Our Chicago business trial and business dispute attorneys also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud. You can contact us by calling (630) 333-0000 or our toll free number (877) 990-4990.  You can also contact us online here.

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Super Lawyers named Illinois business trial lawyers Peter Lubin and Vincent DiTommaso Super Lawyers in the Categories of Class Action, Business Litigation and Consumer Rights Litigation and DiTommaso-Lubin Associates Patrick Austermuehle and Andrew Murphy Rising Stars. DiTommaso-Lubin’s Illinois business trial lawyers have over a quarter of century of experience in litigating complex class action, copyright, non-compete agreement, trademark and libel suits, consumer rights and many different types of business and commercial litigation disputes including lawsuits between businesses or between shareholders and owners of the same business.  Our Palatine and Schaumburg business dispute attorneys handle emergency business law suits involving copyrights, trademarks, injunctions, and TROS, covenant not to compete, franchise, distributor and dealer wrongful termination and trade secret lawsuits and many different kinds of business disputes involving shareholders, partnerships, closely held businesses and employee breaches of fiduciary duty. Our Chicago business trial and business dispute attorneys also assist businesses and business owners who are victims of fraud. You can contact us by calling (630) 333-0000 or our toll free number (877) 990-4990.  You can also contact us online here.

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Root Consulting Inc. v. William Insull, 2016 WL 806556 (N.D. Ill., March 2, 2016)

An officer and shareholder of a closely held corporation has a fiduciary duty not to compete with the company even if he is forced out of the organization.

William I. was sued by Root Consulting Inc. and fellow shareholders for breach of fiduciary duty after he formed a competing company and solicited business from Root customers, while still a vice president and shareholder of Root (Root Consulting Inc. v. William Insull (2016 WL 806556)). Root is an Illinois-based information technology company with operations in Illinois and Texas; William I. is a Texas resident. William I. claimed his employment ended in July 2013 when he was “frozen out” (or constructively terminated) by the other shareholders, and therefore he had no fiduciary duty to refrain from competition. However, U.S. District Judge Robert Blakey found that he remained vice president and 47.5% shareholder until February of 2014, and that he continued to do work for Root after his alleged termination date.

Under Illinois law, corporate officers owe a fiduciary duty to their corporation and to its shareholders and may not enrich themselves at the expense of the corporation. Under the “corporate opportunity” doctrine, a fiduciary cannot take personal advantage of business opportunities that arise from and rightfully belong to the corporation. The officer’s resignation does not relieve him of liability if he acquired the opportunity before his employment ended. Continue reading

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We help our clients solve copyright issues and business dispute problems through negotiations, litigation or mediation.

 

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Our Chicago business dispute lawyers have extensive experience prosecuting and defending intellectual property, copyright, trademark, partner disputes and complex business lawsuits.

 

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NPR reports:

At the University of Tennessee Tuesday, 16 of the university’s head coaches held a rare joint press conference. They defended the university in the wake of a Title IX federal sexual assault lawsuit. ..

The press conference was a rare sight. All of the University of Tennessee’s head athletic coaches – including football, baseball, diving and soccer – sitting on a stage, telling reporters that UT is not such a bad place. Robert Patrick coaches women’s volleyball at the Southeastern Conference school.

 

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If you’ve committed a crime for which you were never charged and you’re considering doing a documentary about said crime, you might want to think again.

Thirty-four years ago, Robert A. Durst’s wife, Kathleen McCormack Durst, disappeared from her home in Westchester County. Since then, Mr. Durst has spent his time traveling between New York, Los Angeles, and Houston, funded by his estranged family’s real estate empire.

Ms. Durst’s family members have long suspected Mr. Durst of killing her, but they never had enough evidence to charge him for the crime. Three decades later, Mr. Durst sounds pretty confident that he got away with murder. Continue reading

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The Internet has done a lot of wonderful things for us, including facilitating communication beyond what most people would have ever thought possible. This has proven to be both good and bad as people have the opportunity, not only to communicate with each other, but with the entire world regarding everything from national news to what they ate for breakfast.

When people talk about an organization or person online, it can frequently cause problems for the organization or individuals being talked about. It’s well known that the people who write online reviews are rarely the people who had a mediocre experience. It tends to be those who had an excellent or a terrible experience and that can result in a skewed online presentation of the organization or person. Continue reading