O’Melveny Lawyers Publish Largest-Ever Statistical Analysis of Trade Secret Litigation

二月 24, 2011



Piper Hall
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

Amber Burke
O'Melveny & Myers LLP

SAN FRANCISCO, CA ─ FEBRUARY 24, 2011 Lawyers from O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice have published the largest-ever statistical analysis of trade secret litigation.


Recognizing the need for objective, empirical data in this complex area of intellectual property law, Darin Snyder, head of O’Melveny’s Intellectual Property and Technology Practice, along with O’Melveny colleagues David Almeling, Michael Sapoznikow, Whitney McCollum, and Jill Weader, analyzed more than 3,500 court decisions.  The authors’ key findings include:


  • Trade secret litigation is growing exponentially in federal courts, doubling nearly every decade.
  • In more than 90% of trade secret cases in both state and federal courts, the alleged misappropriator was someone the trade secret owner knew — either an employee or a business partner.
  • Just five states account for about half of all trade secret litigation in state appellate courts.  California leads the pack (16% of cases), followed by Texas (11%), Ohio (10%), New York (6%), and Georgia (6%).
  • As one element of its prima facie case, a trade secret owner must take reasonable measures to protect its purported trade secrets.  Of all the measures trade secret owners took, only two statistically predicted that the court would find that this element was satisfied: confidentiality agreements with employees and confidentiality agreements with third parties.


“Trade secrets are an increasingly important part of any company’s intellectual property,” said Snyder.  “Our work over the last two years helps equip companies with the objective data they need to make informed decisions about how to protect their trade secrets and to avoid misappropriating the trade secrets of others.”


The authors published their work in two articles.  The first, A Statistical Analysis of Trade Secret Litigation in Federal Courts, was published in March 2010.  The second, A Statistical Analysis of Trade Secret Litigation in State Courts, was published last week.


If you would like to speak with the authors about their findings, please contact Piper Hall or Amber Burke at the numbers or e-mail addresses listed above.


About O’Melveny & Myers LLP

With approximately 900 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visit www.omm.com