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October 14, 2016

TRO Entered under Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act against Two Former Employees of National Roofing Company: bit-x-bit Provides Forensic Analysis and Supporting Declaration

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In CentiMark Corporation v. Executive Roof Services, LLC, Michael W. Meacham, and Eric S. Pauly, Case No. 3:16-cv-05707, Judge Ronald B. Leighton for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a Temporary Restraining Order against Defendants  under the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act , 18 U.S.C. § 1836 (2016).  The TRO restrained the Defendants from disclosing CentiMark’s confidential and trade secret information and enjoined them from engaging in a competitive commercial and industrial roofing business in violation of their employment agreements with CentiMark.    

Represented by James M. Barrett, Esq. with Ogletree Deakins, CentiMark alleged in its complaint that Defendants Meacham and Pauly, Senior and Regional Sales Managers with a combined 35 years of employment with CentiMark, forwarded to the personal email accounts CentiMark’s confidential and trade secret information, which included CentiMark’s pricing information and proprietary bid program and estimating system.  bit-x-bit examined Meacham and Pauly’s CentiMark computers, and in a declaration in support of CentiMark’s motion for a TRO, Brett Creasy, bit-x-bit Director of Digital Forensics, determined that  multiple USBs had been inserted into the Defendants’ computers just prior to their departure from the company, some of which likely contained back-ups of CentiMark’s email and documents.  
Following the entry of the TRO, the parties entered into a Stipulated Preliminary Injunction and Order which enjoined the Defendants from engaging in “the business of commercial roofing, industrial roofing or flooring.”   The Defendants further agreed to turn over and permit access to “all personal electronic devices, such as computers, laptops, phones, and storage devices for forensic imaging and examination by a qualified forensic examiner identified by CentiMark for the purpose of determining how the [Defendants] have used or transmitted CentiMark’s confidential Information and facilitating the identification and removal of same from the devices…”   The Defendants agreed  “to pay all necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by CentiMark in engaging third party vendors to image or examine the electronic devices and accounts for the purpose of determining how [the Defendants] have used or transmitted CentiMark’s confidential information and facilitating the identification and removal “ of CentiMark’s confidential information.  
Signed into law on May 11, 2016 by President Obama, the DTSA creates a federal civil cause of action for the misappropriation of trade secrets for products and services in interstate and foreign commerce.  Previously, the misappropriation of trade secrets was governed by state law, such as the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, 12 Pa. C.S. Section 5301 et al. in Pennsylvania.  The DTSA affords litigants access to Federal court, more consistent law, foreign application, as well as significant additional remedies including ex parte seizure of infiltrated trade secrets, as well as double damages and attorneys’ fees if the misappropriation is willful and malicious.  
Copies of the the Creasy Declaration and Temporary Restraining Order can viewed by clicking the "View PDF" link located on the previous page.