Non-Compete | Employee & IP Data Theft | Non-Solicitation
Non-Compete, Employee and Intellectual Property Theft, and Non-Solicitation matters involve similar investigative techniques.
These matters involve identifying whether individuals that have left one organization have taken intellectual property (IP) and/or are in violation of a non-compete agreement, non-solicitation agreement or other such protective covenant. Depending on the strategy of the case and the egregiousness of the actions, the lack of any kind of protective covenant hasn’t prevented clients from being able to prove damages and win their case.
Vestige is well-positioned to respond to the time-sensitive nature of these intellectual property protection cases. Our understanding of the manner in which to prove these cases, our ability to quickly and accurately analyze the data and to articulate the findings often helps support motions for Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs), help the legal team prepare for Preliminary Injunctions and to support Motions to Compel the Production of Computer Systems owned and/or operated by the party opponent.
How we help Plaintiffs
There are numerous items that help establish one way or another whether intellectual property theft has occurred and/or the individual(s) are in violation of a protective covenant. Typically, the strongest evidence of such behavior is on the system(s) of the party opponent. However, without reasonable cause, a judge is not going to be persuaded to allow an investigation of the opponent’s system. Therefore, Vestige is adept at investigating the system(s) of the investigating company to uncover and interpret the artifacts that prove or disprove the allegations of whether intellectual property theft has occurred or evidence exists that the individual(s) is in violation of non-compete or non-solicitation agreement.
Artifacts (digital footprints) left on the system evidencing malfeasance in these matters include:
- Proof that external media, such as USB flash drives, external USB hard drives, etc., has been connected and IP copied to it
- Printing of sensitive/confidential information
- E-mailing of IP material to an outside e-mail account (i.e. home e-mail account such as Yahoo!, GMail or other account)
- Burning of IP material to CD/DVD
- Accessing sensitive information out-of-the-ordinary course of the individual’s normal activity
- E-mail or other correspondence providing evidence that such activity has taken place
- Analysis of deletion and/or “clean-up” activity
In those situations where a violation has occurred, Vestige is ready to provide the evidence and support it with a report and testimony. In those other situations where no violation has occurred, Vestige provides adequate assurance to the hiring party that a violation has not occurred.
How we help Defendants
Oftentimes activity that is conducted and analyzed by IT personnel that is not a Computer Forensic Expert is misinterpreted. Given the adversarial nature of the legal process, the related costs and the desire to move quickly, incorrectly interpreted artifacts and activity can cause unnecessary problems. Vestige has helped defendants incorrectly accused of violating non-compete/non-solicitation restrictive covenants or accused of “stealing” intellectual property. And, since Vestige always maintains neutrality in all intellectual property protection cases, should the evidence contradict the defendant’s position, as our client, we would let you know that as well.
Contact Us today to discuss how Vestige can assist with violations of Non-Compete | Intellectual Property Theft | Non-Solicitation matters.