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Non-Competition & Trade Secrets

Practice Areas

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Theft of trade secrets, employee disloyalty, breaches of fiduciary duty and raiding can cause irreparable damage.

Trade secrets and other proprietary information are often among our client’s most valuable assets, and high stakes threats may come from competitors, suppliers, former employees and others. When a client faces potentially devastating harm due to unfair competition or theft of trade secrets, quick and decisive action is critical, and it is often necessary to pursue emergency injunctive relief. 

To meet this important client need, Godfrey & Kahn has designated a Non-Competition & Trade Secrets Litigation Practice Group. Litigators within the group have handled matters for clients ranging from large financial, retail, and manufacturing companies to local companies and individuals. We have extensive trial and injunctive hearing experience, have successfully pursued landmark trade secret and non-compete claims, and have frequently obtained expedited, injunctive relief to prevent or minimize a threatened harm. Our services include:

  • Handling high stakes and “bet the company” litigation over the theft of trade secrets
  • Pursing injunctive relief, including emergency relief
  • Quickly coordinating the computer, phone, and other electronic device searches necessary to fully investigate theft of trade secret claims
  • Analyzing the enforceability of restrictive covenants
  • Advising as to the policies and practices necessary to maintain trade secret protection
  • Advising clients accused of misappropriating trade secrets or breaching their non-compete agreements or fiduciary duties
  • Advising as to strategies for the recovery of stolen trade secrets
  • Resolving non-compete disputes pre-litigation

If you have questions about this practice area, please contact the chair of our Non-Competition & Trade Secrets Litigation Practice Group, Maria L. Kreiter, any of the practice group members listed, or the Godfrey & Kahn lawyer with whom you normally consult.

Michael Apfeld

Apfeld, Michael B.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9500414.287.9500
Anthony Baish

Baish, Anthony S.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9435414.287.9435
Nina Beck

Beck, Nina G.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9633414.287.9633
Erin (Maggie) Cook

Cook, Erin (Maggie) M.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9569414.287.9569
Donald Daugherty

Daugherty, Donald A.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9512414.287.9512
Shane Delsman

Delsman, Shane

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9653414.287.9653
Robert Dreps

Dreps, Robert J.

Of Counsel
Madison
608.284.2606608.284.2606
Daniel Flaherty

Flaherty, Daniel T.

Shareholder
Appleton
920.831.6341920.831.6341
Rufino Gaytán

Gaytán, Rufino III

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9572414.287.9572
Brian Gilpin

Gilpin, Brian G.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9317414.287.9317
Jennifer Gregor

Gregor, Jennifer L.

Shareholder
Madison
608.284.2629608.284.2629
Paul Heaton

Heaton, Paul F.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9601414.287.9601
John Kirtley

Kirtley, John L.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9685414.287.9685
Maria Kreiter

Kreiter, Maria L.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9466414.287.9466
Andrew Landsman

Landsman, Andrew C.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9234414.287.9234
Rebeca López

López, Rebeca M.

Associate
Milwaukee
414.287.9634414.287.9634
Joseph Nicks

Nicks, Joseph M.

Shareholder
Green Bay
920.436.7675920.436.7675
Tom O'Day

O'Day, Tom

Associate
Madison
608.284.2228608.284.2228
Howard Pollack

Pollack, Howard A.

Of Counsel
Milwaukee
414.287.9551414.287.9551
Brian Spahn

Spahn, Brian C.

Shareholder
Milwaukee
414.287.9314414.287.9314

Representative Experience

United States

Koziar, et al. v. McKeough Land Company, Inc.
Represent defendant in prosecution of third-party complaint against employee and his competitive company relating to employee's alleged secret competitive activity for the benefit of his company while in defendant's employ. (U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin).

BVK, Inc. v. Manuel Machado, et al.
Represent plaintiff in claims for breach of non-competition agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, and unfair competition against former principals from whom plaintiff had purchased an advertising business in South Florida. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida).

King-Indiana Forge v. Millennium Forge, Inc.
Represent defendant manufacturing company against allegations of trade secret misappropriation and breach of confidentiality agreement relating to the development of an axle spindle manufacturing process. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana).

GRM Corporation v. Miniature Precision Components, Inc.
Represent defendant automotive manufacturer against allegations of trade secret misappropriation claims relating to the development of a manufacturing process for automotive components, obtaining dismissal of trade secret misappropriation claim. (U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan).

Industrial Roofing Services Inc., et al. vs. Randy J. Marquardt, et al.
Represent several defendants in lawsuit alleging unfair competition, breach of non-compete clauses and theft of trade secrets, relating to the formation of a competitive roofing business, obtaining a complete dismissal of all claims against the defendants. (State of Wisconsin Circuit Court).

Terra Nova, Inc. v. Gale Smith and Roscor Corp.
Represent defendant employer against claims of trade secret misappropriation relating to hiring of plaintiff's former employee, obtaining denial of plaintiff's request for a temporary injunction and achieving dismissal of employer from the lawsuit. (State of Wisconsin Circuit Court).

Wacker Corp. v. Warner
Represent plaintiff-employer in prosecuting misappropriation of trade secret claim against former employee who, after obtaining plaintiff's confidential marketing and business development information, left to join a competitive company. (State of Wisconsin Circuit Court).

United States Fire Protection, Inc. v. David G. Bauer
Lead counsel for plaintiff in prosecution of claims for misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of duty of loyalty arising from alleged use of bidding information by former employee for a competitor. (State of Wisconsin Circuit Court).

JBM Patrol and Protection Corp. v. Oestreich, et al.
Lead counsel for plaintiff security agency in prosecuting misappropriation of trade secrets claim against former employee who allegedly took highly sensitive client security information. (State of Wisconsin Circuit Court).

International

George Fischer Foundry Systems, Inc. v. Adolph H. Hottinger Maschinenbau GmbH
Lead counsel for German licensor in patent licensing antitrust case in which dismissal obtained on basis of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Mitsubishi Motor Corp. v. Soler Chrysler Plymouth, Inc. Successfully represented client in arbitration of antitrust claims before Zürich Chamber of Commerce (ZCC No. 202/1992).

Good Humor Corporation v. Popsicle Japan KK
Lead counsel for Unilever subsidiary (Good Humor) in international trademark licensing dispute. 810 F. Supp. 1001 (E. D. Wis. 1992). Obtained summary judgment dismissing bulk of licensee's claims leading to favorable settlement.

Manpower Inc. v. Manpower Unternehmens-und Personalberatung Ges.m.b.H.
Lead American counsel for Claimant in licensing/franchise dispute with Austrian joint venture partner in arbitration before International Arbitral Centre of the Federal Economic Chamber (Vienna). All three Tribunal awards were in favor of Claimant, including grant of injunctive relief and award of damages of $1.8 million. (SCH-4311/MAG). Austrian Supreme Court upheld the awards on April 26, 2006 (Ob 236/05 i).

Rexnord Inc. v. Islamic Republic of Iran
Obtained $1.1 million recovery for Rexnord after hearings before Iran-U.S. Claims Tribunal (The Hague) (first $1 million Tribunal award) (Case No. 132).

Bostrom Seating Inc. (USA) v. JMH Bostrom Europe Ltd.
(United Kingdom): Obtained favorable settlement for client in this international licensing dispute after initial hearings in ICC arbitration. (1987-1989) (6035/BGD).

Chr. Hansen v. CK Witco Corp. n/k/a Crompton Corp.
Obtained seven-figure settlement for U.S. subsidiary of Danish company on eve of hearings in dispute arising out of breaches of representations and warranties in stock purchase agreement as to FDA and environmental compliance. (Amer. Arb. Assn. Case No. 13E1810010600).

FTC v. Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd.
Helped successfully defend ICI's acquisition of then New York Stock Exchange company, Atlas Chemical Industries, Inc., from §7 Clayton Act attack by FTC and negotiate consent decree.

DMT, S.A. v. Enercon Industries Corporation
Lead counsel for a Wisconsin corporation in a lawsuit filed by a French corporation involving goods supplied for China and diverted to Iran. Obtained summary judgment nullifying a contract due to violation of United States embargo laws relating to Iran.

Automatan, Inc. v. CUIR, S.A.
Obtained favorable settlement for a French corporation resisting enforcement of an arbitration award rendered pursuant to the Hague Convention on public policy grounds.

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