Chroma Technology Corp. Wins Trade Secret Case

first_imgBrattleboro, VT, April 18, 2002 — The Vermont Supreme Court recently affirmed the judgement entered in favor of Chroma Technology Corp. that the Chroma defendants did not violate any legal obligation to their former employee when they founded a competing business in 1991. In so doing, the Court clarified the law in the State of Vermont on the important issue of when and how employees may go into direct competition with their employers. Prior to this decision, no case in Vermont had squarely addressed the issue since the early years of the 20th century.Heidi Harvey, of the firm of Fish & Richardson P.C., Boston, MA, was leadcounsel for the Chroma defendants at trial and on appeal. She observed, “This decision is an extremely important statement of the modern law inVermont on one of the most difficult issues that faces employees and employers – who has the burden of drawing the line between the employees’general, knowledge, skills, and abilities and the employer’s proprietary information. The Vermont Supreme Court’s places the burden squarely on theemployer to take reasonable steps to protect its information and point out to its employees that it considers the information confidential. The fact that information is valuable does not, by itself, make an employee strictly liable never to use it.”In the action, the former employer, Omega Optical, of Brattleboro, VT, alleged that former employees misappropriated Omega’s confidential information and breached their duties of employment to Omega when they founded Chroma Technology Corp, also in Brattleboro, VT, in 1991 to make optical filters for fluorescence microscopy in competition with Omega and others. Omega sought a permanent injunction and $20 million in damages from Chroma. After a 22-day bench trial in 1999, the Superior Court foundin favor of the Chroma defendants.On appeal to the Vermont Supreme Court, Omega asked the Court to hold that employees who acquire valuable information in the course of their employment “owe a duty of confidentiality to the employer merely by virtue of their status as employees, regardless of whether the employer has done anything either to protect the information or to communicate to the employees the confidential and proprietary nature of the information.” Omega also asked the Court to hold that former employees “continue to owe a duty of loyalty, including refraining from competition with their former employer, after they leave employment.”The Vermont Supreme Court rejected both arguments, noting that “[Plaintiff’s argument] is simply at odds with the case law, which requiressomething more than the mere employer-employee relationship to establish a duty of confidentiality.” The Court also noted that “[Plaintiff] cites no authority for the proposition that at-will employees continue to owe a duty of loyalty to a former employer, even after they have left that employment, that constrains them from ever acting to the detriment of that employer. Such a common law duty would prevent an employee from ever going to work for a competitor even in the absence of an agreement not to do so, an anomalous result.”last_img read more

UN official: Bird biosecurity lapses could worsen food crisis

first_imgJun 20, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – Lax biosecurity measures around poultry in some countries could lead to an increasing number of H5N1 avian influenza outbreaks that could exacerbate the global food crisis, an official from the United Nations Food and AgricultureOrganization (FAO) said at an international infectious disease conference in Malaysia today.Juan Lubroth, senior officer with the FAO’s infectious diseases group, made the comments during symposia on influenza in animals and people at the International Congress on Infectious Diseases (ICID), which started yesterday in Kuala Lumpur and runs through Jun22. ICID is the annual meeting of the International Society for InfectiousDiseases.Lubroth said though fewer countries have experienced recent avian flu outbreaks, numerous small outbreaks continue to occur, according to an Associated Press (AP) report today. “It’s like a boiling pot, and we need to keep the lid on that before it gets worse,” he said.He said 80% of the world’s poor depend on livestock for their livelihood, and poultry has been an inexpensive protein source, the AP reported. However, he added that about 240 million poultry have been slaughtered to control the spread of H5N1.Failure to protect the food supply of the world’s poor only makes worse the effect of rising prices of rice, corn, and other staples, Lubroth said.Global veterinary service capacity needs to be expanded, and more countries need to be transparent regarding disease surveillance and develop surveillance systems and policies to manage the disease, he said. “We fail to see that political commitment.”In the abstract that accompanied the presentation, Lubroth wrote that veterinary experts worry that government officials, in a panic over the threat to human health, are focusing nearly all of their efforts on accumulating antiviral and vaccine stockpiles, “forgetting that the origin of the malady was—and remains—a poultry problem.”Lubroth wrote that a lag in funding for poultry safety initiatives has prevented national veterinary services from mounting the border and regulatory controls needed to contain the disease within Southeast Asia.Biosecurity: stalled or improving?Today’s comments from the FAO seem to counter some of the recent comments from a UN official on the state of global pandemic preparedness. On Jun 18, David Nabarro, the UN’s influenza coordinator, listed national improvements in poultry biosecurity as a reason behind the organization’s assessment that the world is better prepared for an influenza pandemic, according to an earlier report. He also said more countries are focusing their efforts on the link between human and animal health.Other pandemic experts, such as Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, publisher of CIDRAP News, disagree that the world is better prepared for a pandemic and say governments have not planned for supply, medicine, and utility disruptions that could severely damage the world’s economy and worsen the impact of the disease on health.Nabarro, however, expressed concern that the virus remains entrenched in several countries, particularly Indonesia, the country that has had the highest number of human cases anddeaths.Indonesia reports on diagnostic challenges in human casesIn another presentation during the same ICID symposia, Sardikin Giriputro, director of the Sulianti Saroso Infectious Disease Hospital in Jakarta, Indonesia, gave an update on that country’s clinical cases and spoke of challenges in diagnosing H5N1 infections.With 135 cases and 110 deaths from the disease, according to the most recent World Health Organization (WHO) update, Indonesia has been hit harder than any other country by the H5N1 virus.However, early this month Indonesia’s health minister, Siti Fadilah Supari, said that the number of human cases has slowed this year, according to a Jun 5 AP report. She said only 18 people have been infected with the virus so far this year, compared with 27 for the same period in 2007 and 35 in 2006.Giriputro said that some patients with H5N1 infections have been misdiagnosed with dengue fever and typhoid, which has delayed antiviral treatment, according to a report today from Reuters. Oseltamivir (Tamiflu) is the drug of choice for H5N1 illnesses and is best given within 24 to 36 hours of symptom onset.He told the group that medical officials in Indonesia are finding that rapid test kits used to diagnose the H5N1 virus in animals are less reliable for testing human samples, according to the Reuters report.”It depends on the viral load [from human samples],” Giriputro said, adding that false-negatives can occur when there isn’t enough virus in the human sample.Indonesia’s government has been distributing oseltamivir to health centers in areas that have had poultry outbreaks and human cases, he said. Physicians prescribe the virus without waiting for laboratory results if patients have influenza-like illnesses and may have had contact with sick poultry.In an abstract that accompanied his talk, Giriputro said about 50% of Indonesia’s H5N1 patients had a history of direct contact with sick birds, 30% had indirect contact, and 20% had no contact that could be determined.See also:Lubroth and Giriputro ICID abstracts (pages 2 and 3, respectively)Jun 18 CIDRAP News report “UN:Pandemic preparedness pays off, but threat remains”last_img read more

West, Woodley shine as unheralded offensive tandem for Northwestern State

first_imgJalan West and Zeek Woodley are accustomed to coming as a package.On the Louisiana Roundballers AAU team in high school. As the 1-2 punch for Northwestern State. Even as the top two in the video game ranks on the team, according to West.“We’re just like one of a kind,” Woodley said. “We’re like the same people.”Despite the differences in height, age and position, West and Woodley’s chemistry off the court lends itself to success on it.The junior point guard West leads the country with 7.6 assists per game, and the sophomore forward Woodley is third in the nation with 22.3 points per contest.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWest, who averages 17.4 points per game as well, considers himself the distributor while Woodley handles more of the scoring, but head coach Mike McConathy said their roles are interchangeable. Regardless of which title each assumes, though, West and Woodley are spearheading the Demons’ (7-7, 2-1 Southland) push to keep pace with conference powerhouse Stephen F. Austin while ranking among the nation’s elite in their respective statistical categories.“They could’ve played anywhere in the country,” McConathy said. “They are two of the best players that I’ve ever been fortunate enough to coach that compliment each other, but also compliment all the players around them on the team.”When Woodley first came to Northwestern State, it was the then-sophomore West who took him under his wing since the seniors didn’t, Woodley said.The two had known each other for a couple years, both coming from local Louisiana high schools, and they combined for more than 33 points and almost nine rebounds per game in their first year as a collegiate 1-2 combo.This year, though, they’ve taken those numbers to another level yet still don’t get much recognition on the national spectrum. McConathy even said the duo’s defensive prowess, specifically Woodley’s ability to hard-hitch a ball screen and West’s to keep a ball-handler in front of him, are traits of theirs that go relatively unnoticed.“Being under the radar is good when we play the high major teams because they can’t prepare for us,” West said. “During the game they’re trying to find a way to stop us but by the time (they do), it’d be too late.”In the Demons’ most recent game against conference foe Incarnate Word, West and Woodley combined for 61 points on over 56 percent shooting from the field in a 103-101 win.It’s that offensive output that McConathy has become used to, almost to the point where he doesn’t even have to diagram a set play when in need of a score.“It’s not a deal where they’re just dribbling around for 10 seconds trying to figure out what they’re going to do,” McConathy said. “I think that they’re great at taking what our offense gives them to just go create and make buckets.”The two will play one-on-one in the gym alone, joke around about anything and just “hang out.” Most of the time, though, they just play NBA 2K15 and NBA Live. Woodley says he wins all the time. West says Woodley “doesn’t suck,” but confidently put himself first in the rankings ahead of him.And whether it’s in a video game setting or a real-life one, competition and cohesion are abundant with the pair whose roots are now paying major dividends on the hardwood.“Once you get chemistry with a player, it grows,” West said. “They can be unstoppable and a dynamic force. That’s what me and Zeek got going on right now.” Comments Published on January 13, 2015 at 12:07 am Contact Matt: | @matt_schneidman Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Silva lining for footballing street children

first_imgNext year’s third running of the event will probably take place in May, before the World Cup.The seven-a-side tournament has attracted 12 boys teams and 12 girls teams with a Uganda girls side appearing for the first time.For Peter Fahy, former chief constable of Manchester police and now CEO of Retrak, an organisation devoted to helping street children get their lives back on track, it gives the Ugandan girls the platform to highlight an issue that blights society in the country.“We are using it as a platform to highlight the issues of girls being forced into early marriage and being trafficked to Kampala to be domestic servants and then physically and sexually abused,” the 58-year-old told AFP at the Soccerex Global Convention in Manchester.Fahy, whose organisation is also involved in South America, says the problem is endemic in the country where acquaintances or family members living in Kampala come to families either in rural areas or slum communities and take the girls away promising them a brighter future.“They end up treating them differently to the other children in the family, making them work early in the morning to late at night so they lose out on education and then they get abused,” said Fahy.The former policeman has so far organised for 13 teams of police officers to go to Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi and liaise with their counterparts there, educating them on how to treat the street children better.– ‘Advocate for girls rights’ –“If they object they get thrown out onto the streets and sometimes the family will make false allegations to police that they have been stealing,” he said.“This results in them being stigmatised and the child feels they can’t go back to the family they have been taken from.“We work with the child and the family to accept them to return to normal family life and into school.”For John Wroe, the CEO of Street Child World Cup, the goal — “that no child has to live on the streets” — is a simple and noble one even if many might be sceptical of it being achieved.“Canada have a 10-year campaign for ending homelessness and they will be using the World Cup for this as a platform to bring this to the attention of the Canadian people,” Wroe told AFP.Fahy — who has lobbied successfully for the Ugandan government to buy an acre of land for a centre for the girls — is under no illusions of how important the tournament can be for the girls and their plight.“This will give it a massive profile because of the importance of soccer in Africa,” he said.“We will use it as an opportunity to use all these girls as ambassadors to go back to Uganda and speak out and advocate for girls rights.”Wroe, who says the Russians have been extremely co-operative in facilitating the organisation of the tournament, says the example of a young boy in South Africa called Andille — who lived under a tree on the beach in Durban and would scramble up it when the police came to round him up — makes his work worthwhile.“He said to me ‘I am nothing to people when I am a street child but I become a person when I am playing football’,” said Wroe.“Now he is a barista in Durban his boss says he is his most reliable employee.“He is the first to arrive and last to leave, he works six and a half days a week and in his time off is making a home for his mum.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Brazil’s Gilberto Silva in action for Arsenal in 2007MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Sep 6 –  Brazilian Gilberto Silva will be back at a World Cup next year but the 2002 World Cup winner won’t be in Russia because of the quadrennial showpiece but for the Street Child version.The 40-year-old former Arsenal midfielder — who admitted despite his own impoverished background he cried when he heard the story of one Indian street child — went to Moscow for the Street Child summit earlier this year in his capacity as global ambassador for the organisation.last_img read more