USD School of Law Professor Orly Lobel Quoted in The Street Article titled "Silicon Valley DNA vs. NDAs"

Palo Alto, Calif. (May 22, 2017) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Professor Orly Lobel was quoted in an article on The Street that reported on the legal dispute between Waymo and Uber.

According to the article, Anthony Levandowski, who left Waymo to work for Uber, is at the center of the trade secrets litigation that Waymo brought against Uber, accusing the engineer of stealing 14,000 documents on his way out the door when he left to found Otto in January 2016.

"The value that these companies bring is really about their people and their capacity to innovate and maintain their edge," said University of San Diego law professor Orly Lobel, who said that "brain circulation" of tech's brightest is not just good for employees—it is a necessary part of Silicon Valley's culture. Tech groups want to keep their IP and the minds that create it, but may face a goose-and-golden-egg scenario if they try to prevent worker mobility.

The article goes on to state that, to defend against the loss of trade secrets, a company would have to demonstrate that it had internal systems and controls to keep its IP private. 

Companies have a tendency to "overclaim" the amount of secret information an employee had access to Lobel said.

"The responsibility of the courts is really to understand what is a trade secret, how do you define it, what is information that is not commonly known in the industry that a company has made reasonable efforts to keep it secret," Lobel said.

Read the full article online. 


About Professor Orly Lobel

Orly Lobel is the Don Weckstein Professor of Labor and Employment Law at the University of San Diego, where she teaches and writes in the areas of employment law, intellectual property law, regulatory and administrative law, torts, behavioral economics, health policy, consumer law and trade secrets. Her current research focuses on innovation policy and intellectual property. Lobel ‘s works include Talent Wants to Be Free: Why We Should Learn to Love Leaks, Raids, and Free-Riding (Yale University Press, 2013); “The Incentives Matrix: The Comparative Effectiveness of Rewards, Liabilities, Duties and Protections for Reporting Illegality” in 88 Texas Law Review 1151 (2010); “Citizenship, Organizational Citizenship, and the Laws of Overlapping Obligations” in 97 California Law Review 433 (2009); Encyclopedia of Labor and Employment Law and Economics (Dau-Schmidt, and Harris, eds.) (Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009); “Behavioral Versus Institutional Antecedents of Decentralized Enforcement in Organizations: An Experimental Approach” in 2 Regulations & Governance 165 (with Feldman) (2008); “Stumble, Predict, Nudge: How Behavioral Economics Informs Law and Policy” in 108 Columbia Law Review 2098 (with Amir) (2008); “The Paradox of Extra-Legal Activism: Critical Legal Consciousness and Transformative Politics” in 120 Harvard Law Review 937 (2007); and “The Renew Deal: The Fall of Regulation and the Rise of Governance in Contemporary Legal Thought” in 89 Minnesota Law Review 342 (2004). . Her articles have won several awards including the Thorsnes Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship and the Irving Oberman Memorial Award. Lobel is a frequent speaker at universities throughout Asia, Europe and North America. She was USD's Herzog Endowed Scholar for the 2012-13 academic year and was the 2013-14 recipient of USD’s Thorsnes Prize for Outstanding Legal Scholarship.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

The University of San Diego (USD) School of Law is recognized for the excellence of its faculty, depth of its curriculum, and strength of its clinical programs. Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world. The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates. The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 35th nationally and 6th on the West Coast among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 24th nationally and 6th on the West Coast in all-time faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Don Weckstein Professor of Labor and Employment Law Orly Lobel

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