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TRADE SECRETS AT&T took plaintiff’s data-mining technology On its misappropriation-of-trade-secrets claim against AT&T, a technology firm was awarded $12.1 million by a federal jury on July 16. DTM Research LLC claimed that it was approached by the AT&T Corp. to provide data analysis pertaining to the marketing of telecommunication products to people who work at home. Negotiations were initiated, in connection with which DTM began demonstrating to AT&T employees its method of identifying potential customers. AT&T eventually decided not to contract with DTM, but several years later incorporated some of DTM’s technology in a project it called the “universe list.” AT&T claimed the alleged trade secrets were common industry knowledge. Case/Court/Date: DTM Research LLC v. AT&T Corp.,No. 8:96-CV-01852-PJM (U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Greenbelt, Md.), July 16, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorneys:Robert Cohen, Douglas Nazarian, and Ralph Tyler, Hogan & Hartson, Baltimore. Defense attorneys:Karen Corallo, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, Dallas; Karen Gulde and R. Lawrence Macon, Akin Gump, San Antonio; Thomas McLish and Jonathan Spaeth, Akin Gump, Washington, D.C. TRADE SECRETS Business software employees didn’t take MicroStrategy’s information Two former employees of a business software company did not divulge trade secrets or violate a company agreement when they left for a rival company, a Virginia judge ruled on June 19. Wenfeng Li and Xiaogang Xue were programmers for MicroStrategy Inc. in McLean, Va., when they left the company for similar work at the Actuate Corp. in San Francisco. MicroStrategy sued the two and their new employer, alleging that the programmers took confidential company information with them, and did so with the approval of Actuate. The defendants denied that any trade secrets were revealed, and claimed that what MicroStrategy considered trade secrets had been previously disclosed via the Internet. Case/Court/Date: MicroStrategy Inc. v. Li,No. 172862 (Fairfax County, Circuit Court, Va.) June 19, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorneys:Lewis Powell III, Hunton & Williams, Richmond, Va.; Ingo Burghardt, Hunton & Williams, McLean, Va. Defense attorneys:Amy Bess, Elizabeth Ferrell, and Drew Marrocco, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, Washington, D.C. PATENTS Company claimed eBay infringed on three of its patents The Internet auction site eBay and its subsidiary, Half.com, were ordered by a Virginia jury on May 27 to pay $35 million to an inventor who alleged that the companies infringed on two of his patents. In 1998, Thomas Woolston secured a patent for a method of creating a marketplace for goods using a database to store images, descriptions, prices, and legally binding offers, along with a payment-processing service. He later secured a patent for a method of using search agents to find particular items by scanning multiple auction sites. In 2001, after Woolston’s company, MercExchange of Great Falls, Va., could not come to an agreement on licensing with the defendants, the company sued for patent infringement. The defendants argued that the patents were invalid. Case/Court/Date: MercExchange, LLC v. eBay Inc. and Half.com Inc.,No. 2:01CV736 (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Norfolk, Va.), May 27, 2003. Plaintiff’s attorneys:Thomas Cawley, Jennifer Albert, Emerson Vincent Briggs, Brian Buroker, Kenneth Reed Mayo, Thomas Scott Jr., and David Young, Hunton & Williams, McLean, Va.; Gregory Stillman, Hunton & Williams, Norfolk, Va. Defense attorneys:Jeffrey Graham Randall, Matthew James Brigham, Charles Patrick Ebertin, Michael Christopher Hendershot, and Jeffrey Scott Karr, Cooley Godward, Palo Alto, Calif.; Allan Soobert, Cooley Godward, Reston, Va.; Robert McFarland and Steven Zahn, McGuire Woods, Norfolk, Va. These jury verdicts were collected and reported by VerdictSearch, an American Lawyer Media affiliate serving lawyers nationwide. More information about these cases, as well as full reports on other verdicts and settlements, can be found in theVerdictSearch National Reporter or at www.VerdictSearch.com. For subscription information or jury verdict research, call 800-832-1900. To submit a case, call 212-313-9057, fax 212-313-9145, e-mail [email protected], or use the form at www.VerdictSearch.com/submit.

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