Kawhi Leonard is a powerhouse on the basketball court. As an NBA champion and MVP, his name earns him lucrative endorsement deals. One such deal is turning sour, as reported in a new lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. Leonard alleges Nike is infringing upon the copyright of his logo. The case is Leonard v. Nike, Inc. 3:2019cv01035.


The State of Texas is known for many things, like BBQ and live music, that bring visitors to the state. But one federal district’s reputation is sending Apple and other large companies running away. The Eastern District of Texas has become the home of “patent trolls” — individuals or companies that buy up patents and then search for companies that may be infringing on them. These patent trolls and their favored venues have been a huge and costly nuisance not only to Apple, but companies like Microsoft, Skype, and Cisco.


Trade secret litigation is different than other types of intellectual property litigation in that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office does not protect trade secrets. Advances in technology are causing an increase in data and modeling use as trade secrets. This is particularly true in the energy industry, as companies develop new ways to find, extract, and process natural resources. With the rise of trade secrets litigation, some parties are trying to use their Fifth Amendment rights to prevent certain information from coming to light, which is complicating trade secret issues.


What is a trade secret? Companies and their lawyers grapple with this question when tasked with defending confidential information. Unlike patents or trademarks, which must be approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, the trade secret question is more amorphous. Last year, a Bexar County jury found that data-driven valuation models and methods, delivered in app form, deserved trade secret protection when it entered a $706 million verdict in favor of a startup named HouseCanary.