Monday, January 04, 2010, 1/04/2010 06:50:00 PM

"Standing" to Bring Trade Secrets Case to Trial? California Appellate Court Reverses in Nasty, Brutish Marvell Semiconductor Case

By Todd

This was, you might recall, the wacky case in which the general counsel of Marvell Semiconductor Inc. and two of his colleagues phoned the legal chief of a rival company, Jasmine Networks Inc. The call went straight to voicemail, so the Marvell attorney left a message and hung up. At least, he thought he did. Though the Marvell counsel and pals didn't know it, the Jasmine lawyer's voicemail was still taping them as they continued to talk on speakerphone – allegedly about how they were stealing their rival's trade secrets.

Then, after years of litigation, we blogged about the case again: The trial court bought Marvell's argument that Jasmine didn't have standing in the case because they sold their IP rights after the filing of the suit. The case was dismissed.

Well, like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" - "here's Johnny!" The trial court's "standing" decision was reversed by the appellate court. The decision and opinion is linked at the top of the page if you click on the title of this blog post. Read it - the court concludes the trial court erred and it is no requirement that one owns the trade secrets at the time of the trial to be able to go to trial seeking damages allegedly suffered due to misappropriation of those secrets at one time.

We'll keep an eye on this one for you. We've always wondered how one would defend that taped telephone call.


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