In this post, I continue my review of employment-law cases in which LinkedIn played a substantive role. In the first post in the series, I discussed a case in which an employee’s LinkedIn profile was argued to constitute evidence of a single, integrated enterprise. In the second post, I discussed a case in which LinkedIn profiles were used to establish successor liability. In the third post, I discussed the use of a LinkedIn profile to establish an employer’s liability for the acts of its agent. In this post, I discuss cases in which LinkedIn evidence was argued to constitute evidence in support of a claim for misappropriation of trade secrets.
In Sasqua Group, Inc. v. Courtney, an employer sought an injunction against its former employee, who had left to open a competing business. The employer alleged that its client database constituted a protectable trade secret. But the court disagreed, giving credit to the testimony of the former employee that she could easily replicate the information contained on the database through Internet searches of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Bloomberg.
This case raises interesting questions about what steps employers should be taking to protect their client contact information from becoming publicly available and, more specifically, whether employers should consider a policy that addresses whether an employee may or may not upload his work-related contacts to his LinkedIn profile.
No. 09-cv-528 (ADS)(ETB), 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93442 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 2, 2010) (report and recommendation), adopted, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98621 (E.D.N.Y. Sept. 7, 2010).
See LinkedIn Lessons for Employers: Part 1 (Integrated-Enterprise Status)
LinkedIn Lessons for Employers: Part 2 (Successor Liability)
LinkedIn Lessons for Employers: Part 3 (Agency Liability)