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San Diego Legal Blog

Apple employee accused of trade secret theft for Chinese firm

A hardware engineer is accused of stealing information about Apple’s driverless car technology. According to Bloomberg, Jizhong Chen was observed taking photos with a wide-angle lens inside the area that houses Apple’s autonomous car project. Chen signed a confidentiality agreement when he was hired six months before at Apple.

In a will contest, who are the interested parties?

Let’s say that your loved one passed away recently. They left a will, but something unexpected has happened: someone came forward to challenge its validity. In addition to mourning the loss of your loved one, you now have a will contest on your hands.

You feel overwhelmed by the complex legal details that you must handle. One of the most confusing pieces of the will contest has to do with the interested parties. Who exactly is an interested party, and what does this mean?

Qualcomm fighting accusations of intellectual property monopoly

Qualcomm employs about 13,000 people in San Diego County, among its 38,000 workers worldwide. Its economic impact on our city is undeniable, which underscores the significance of the allegations hurled by the US Federal Trade Commission against the chipmaker.

The FTC alleges in a lawsuit that Qualcomm has a monopoly on chips for mobile phones, which forces Apple, Samsung, LG and other companies to pay excessive licensing fees for its tech. Qualcomm’s networking technology patents and software essentially force handset manufacturers to pay the licensing fees even if they don’t use the San Diego firm’s chips in their phones.

San Diego businesses sued by disabled residents over scooters

A group of disabled city residents is demanding that an “obstacle course” is removed from city streets. In a federal lawsuit filed against San Diego businesses that provide shared ride scooters, the disabled residents say scooters left parked on sidewalks make their lives more difficult and infringe on their right to move about freely.

The plaintiffs include a man with no arms and one leg, an amputee, a blind person and a man with Parkinson’s disease.

Scientist prevails in tech trade secrets lawsuit

One of the most important safeguards of trade secrets is to be found in our court system. The U.S District Court for the Northern District of California recently awarded more than $2.3 million to a technology company owner whose trade secrets in electrode design and development were "willfully and maliciously misappropriated" by the founder of the now-shuttered General Capacitor.

Linda Zhong is to receive more than $2.3 million and her Silicon Valley company, Enertrode, was awarded $259,767 by the court.

California shareholder dispute headed to U.S. Supreme Court

A subsidiary of a California chipmaker is to have its appeal heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. Broadcom Inc. seeks to resolve a shareholder lawsuit over its acquisition four years ago of Emulex Corp., headquartered less than 100 miles north of San Diego in Costa Mesa. Broadcom Inc. is located farther to the north, in San Jose.

The question that looms over the case, and similar cases, is whether shareholders must show intent to defraud when suing a business over statements made during the acquisition process.

California marijuana business prevails in RICO lawsuit

At first glance, a California lawsuit filed north of San Diego appears to involve gangsters. After all, the suit was filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Signed by President Richard Nixon, RICO was designed to battle the Mafia and other elements of organized crime. The recent lawsuit was filed by neighbors of a northern California cannabis grower, however.

A federal judge recently ruled against the plaintiffs, refusing to stop marijuana cultivation. News sources say it was the first attempt in the state to use the RICO Act to stop legal cannabis farming.

Hundreds of artworks enter the public domain in 2019

Silent films and other great works of arts published in the early 20th century had their copyrights and patents expire on Jan. 1, 2019. This marks the first year onwards to release registered intellectual property from the 20th century permanently into the public domain.

This wave of material has not been seen since around the year 2000 when some of the first long-term patents expired.

California IP lawsuit: Backpack Kid moves to protect his Floss

It was a star-studded night on “Saturday Night Live.” Tom Hanks and Dwayne Johnson appeared, as did Scarlett Johansson and Alec Baldwin. Singer Katy Perry was there, too, backed by an unknown 15-year-old wearing a backpack and doing his hypnotic, signature Floss dance.

Now known as “Backpack Kid,” Russell Horning is interested in doing more than just entertaining millions – he’s also out to protect what he considers his intellectual property. Horning recently filed a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against Epic Games Inc., makers of the Fortnite Battle Royale video game.

Litigation resolved, resort north of San Diego ready to rise

If you take Interstate 5 north from San Diego for about an hour, you will arrive in Oceanside. The city of about 170,000 residents is the third largest in San Diego County, and is about to see some growth near its popular beach.

After more than a decade of delays due to real estate litigation, construction of the Oceanside Beach Resort is about to begin in just a few weeks.

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