Creative Representation | Expert Litigation

Areas of Trade Secret Litigation Practice

We help clients protect against trade secret misappropriation, negotiate trade secret disputes and, when needed, file suit, enjoin and remedy trade secret theft.

The Bartko Trade Secret practice represents both plaintiffs and defendants in trial courts throughout the United States. Our tech-savvy and commercial litigators have handled matters in a broad array of technologies including mechanical devices, software, biotech, wireless communications, mobile technology, computer security, and computer equipment. Unlike classic big firm “litigators,” we are trial lawyers with a deep experience trying trade secret and other IP cases to verdict. We are ranked by Chambers among the top trade secret lawyers in California. Our depth of substantive and technical understanding, experience handling complex IP litigation, and willingness to take cases to trial ensure the best possible protection of our clients’ legal interests. Together, we are able to analyze the critical technical issues, develop an effective litigation strategy, and present winning arguments to judges and juries. With these skills, Bartko trade secret litigators have secured victory at trial, prevailed in preliminary injunction and other dispositive motion practice, and achieved favorable settlements. Most recently we obtained an $845 million verdict for our client ASML.

Understanding the intersection of technology and commercial business objectives, Bartko lawyers help clients protect against trade secret misappropriation, negotiate trade secret disputes and, when needed, file suit, enjoin and remedy trade secret theft. The lack of big-firm overhead means that Bartko can cost-effectively handle smaller cases. We understand that cost matters and not all cases should be litigated without limits. At the same time, Bartko attorneys have gone toe-to-toe, and prevailed, against some of the largest law firms in the country.

Representative Trade Secret Clients

  • ASML
  • Logitech
  • National Semiconductor
  • Neoptix
  • Netlist
  • Next Level Communications
  • Open Solutions
  • Ondyne
  • Sun Microsystems
  • USG

Although BartkoZankel is willing and able to take a case to trial to best protect our client’s interests, we understand that sometimes settlement is the prudent way to resolve a dispute. The Firm has an extensive alternative dispute resolution practice, and several of our lawyers are court-approved mediators. We bring this expertise to the table, along with experience licensing intellectual property, to help clients obtain the best possible resolutions.

Relevant Trade Secret Articles (by Benjamin K. Riley)

Representative Cases


(Santa Clara Sup). Obtained a jury verdict after a three-week jury trial in a case alleging misappropriation of trade secrets related to computational lithography and related claims against XTAL, a company who hired several former ASML employees. The jury also found that XTAL’s conduct as to all counts was malicious which entitles ASML to an award of punitive damages and attorneys’ fees. Judgment entered in favor of client for $845 million plus injunctive relief.

Netlist v. Diablo

(ND Cal). Prosecution of trade secret, patent and trademark claims involving HyperCloud® LR-DIMM computer memory module technology, including obtaining preliminary injunction.

LumaSense v. Neoptix

(ND Cal). Defended manufacturer of fiber-optic temperature sensors against allegations of trademark infringement and trade secret misappropriation.

Sun Microsystems v. Azul

(ND Cal). Represented Sun in trade secret case concerning multi-thread computer microprocessors. Successful settlement obtained after first deposition.

USG v. Award Metals

(ND Cal). Represented USG in successful prosecution and settlement of trade secret and patent claims relating to corner bead.

Hoffer v. Microsoft

(ND Cal and Fed Cir); Hoffer v. International Business Machines (SD Cal, ND Cal and 9th Cir). Defended a leading computer company in patent litigation concerning design of interactive internet databases. Obtained summary judgment of non-infringement, affirmed in Hoffer v. Microsoft Corp., 405 F.3d 1326 (Fed. Cir. 2005), and obtained dismissal of related trade secret and business torts case.

DSC Communications v. Next Level Communications

(ED Texas). Trial of alleged $500 million trade secret case involving alleged theft of fiber optic on-demand video technology.

National Semiconductor v. Allouche

(Santa Clara Sup). Obtained “inevitable disclosure” temporary restraining order and then preliminary injunction in trade secret case against defendant and five co-workers regarding MR Preamp integrated circuits.

Sedona Corporation v. Open Solutions, Inc.

(D Conn). Represented developer of customer relationship management software alleging misuse of proprietary technology and trade secrets in breach of license dispute.

Ondyne v. Collins

(Contra Costa Sup). Obtained temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction stopping former employee of sensor company from stealing client’s technology and setting up a competing company.