John’s commercial litigation practice concentrates on trade secrets litigation and the enforcement of non-competes throughout the United States. John is listed in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Best Lawyers of America for Litigation – Intellectual Property and in the 2009-17 editions of Ohio Super Lawyers, and he is AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest available rating for legal ability and professional ethics. He has been quoted on trade secret law and restrictive covenant issues by Inside Counsel, Law360, The National Law Journal, Managing IP and Wired; and his blog, “The Trade Secret Litigator” (www.tradesecretlitigator.com), has been cited by publications including The Wall Street Journal.
As Chair of the American Intellectual Property Law Association’s Trade Secret Law Committee, John was actively involved in providing comments and supporting the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the federal statute that The Wall Street Journal called the “most significant expansion” of federal IP law in 70 years.
John’s practice focuses on emergency litigation that protects trade secrets, enforces non-competes and non-solicitation agreements, preserves intellectual property and trademarks, repossesses assets and machinery, preserves funds pending final judgment, and enforces other commercial agreements. John’s representative cases include:
- Advises and represents clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to individuals, in trade secret and restrictive covenant disputes throughout the United States.
- Advises and represents departing employees for on-boarding to new employers, including disputes over confidentiality obligations and restrictive covenants.
- Advises and represents financial firms, insurers, manufacturers, media companies, and software and technology firms in disputes over confidentiality agreements and restrictive covenants with former employees and business partners.
- Represented lender in extensive injunctive, bankruptcy and receivership proceedings that resulted in a judgment of more than $10 million against the guarantors of loan.
- Represented financial institution in extensive injunctive, evidentiary and appellate proceedings that thwarted a white-collar fraud ring’s attempts to convert $18 million in bank assets.
- Represented securities firm in mass exodus of 42 financial analysts, sales representatives and other former employees who formed a competitor, in extensive state court injunctive proceedings and related arbitration proceedings.
Publications & Speaking Engagements
- The Trade Secret Litigator Blog
- The Defend Trade Secrets Act: The First Year and Future Challenges, 19th Annual Symposium on Intellectual Property Law and Policy, University of Akron (March 2017)
- The Defend Trade Secrets Act: The Search for Uniformity and Understanding, 2017 CLE International’s Defend Trade Secrets Act Conference, Denver, CO (February 2017)
- Learning About Competitors Lawfully: A Survey of Reverse Engineering Cases and Practical Tips, Practicing Law Institute, New York, NY (November 2016) and San Francisco, CA (December 2016)
- The Defend Trade Secrets Act and Other Legal Developments in Trade Secret Law, Columbus Intellectual Property Law Association, Columbus, OH (June 2016)
- The Defend Trade Secrets Act: What You Need to Know, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Webinar (May 2016)
- Trade Secret Protection Best Practices: Hiring Competitors' Employees and Protecting the Company When Competitors Hire Yours, American Bar Association, Webinar (March 2016)
- An Update on the Defend Trade Secrets Act Legislation, American Intellectual Property Law Association, La Quinta, CA (January 2016)
- Litigating Trade Secrets Cases, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (September 2015)
- Current Developments in Non-Competition Agreements, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (May 2014)
- Criminal Enforcement of Trade Secrets, Practicing Law Institute, San Francisco, CA (February 2014)
- Trade Secret Law Mid-Year Review: Greater Emphasis from the Obama Administration, New Federal and State Legislation and Noteworthy Federal and State Cases, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Seattle, WA (May 2013)
- Protecting and Maintaining Trade Secrets and Confidential Information in the Age of Social Media and Cloud Computing, California State Bar Association, San Diego, CA (November 2012)
- Trade Secrets: Another Big Year in Trade Secret and Non-Compete Law: A Recap of Major Decisions, Legislation and Trends in Ohio and Nationally in 2012, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (August 2012)
- Drafting and Enforcing Covenants Not to Compete in the Present Economy: Noteworthy Legal Developments and Practical Pointers, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (May 2012)
- The Penitent Litigant: Strategies for Dealing with Contempt, Discovery and Spoliation of Evidence Violations in Trade Secret Litigation, American Intellectual Property Law Association, Washington, D.C. (October 2011)
- Tips for Drafting Winning Intellectual Property Briefs, Practicing Law Institute, Webinar (2011)
- Protecting Trade Secrets in the Post-WikiLeaks Era, American Intellectual Property Law Association, San Francisco, CA (May 2011)
- Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Boot Camp, Ohio State Bar Association, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, OH (Summer 2010)
- Litigating the Trade Secrets Case, Columbus Intellectual Property Law Association, Columbus, OH (2010)
- Protecting Trade Secrets in the Post-WikiLeaks Era, Ohio State Bar Association, Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland, OH (Summers 2010 and 2011)
- Trade Secrets v. Patent Protection: Which Protection is Best for Your IP?, Columbus Intellectual Property Law Association, Columbus, OH (Spring 2009)
- Litigating the Trade Secrets and Non-Compete Dispute in the Present Economy, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (Summer 2009)
- Current Developments Regarding Non-Compete and Non-Disclosure Agreements in Ohio, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (May 2009)
- Using Litigation to Protect Your Client’s Trade Secrets, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (Summer 2008)
- Speed Kills: The Use of Injunctions in Commercial Disputes, Ohio State Bar Association, Columbus, OH (2006 and 2007)
- Defend Trade Secrets Act Update: OSBA's Business Law Conference (May 2017)
Affiliations and Civic Involvement
- Chair and Vice Chair, Trade Secret Law Committee, American Intellectual Property Law Association (2012-2016)
- Chair, American Bar Association’s TRO, Preliminary and Permanent Injunction Sub-Committee (2008)
- Judicial Screening Committee, Columbus Bar Association (2012 to present)
- Member, Ohio State Bar Association, Intellectual Property and Litigation Sections
- United Way Central Ohio Big Brothers and Big Sisters (1995 -2005)
- Central Ohio Alzheimer’s Association
- Jobs for Columbus Graduates (1995-2000)
- Peer Review Rated AV in Martindale Hubbell
- Best Lawyers of America (Litigation – Intellectual Property)
- Ohio Super Lawyers
- Chair for Committee of the Year 2015, Trade Secret Law Committee, American Intellectual Property
- Vanderbilt Law School (J.D., 1989), Associate Editor, Vanderbilt Law Review
- John Carroll University (B.A., 1986, cum laude)
- Ohio (1995)
- New York (1990)
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (2004)
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (1996)
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (2003)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (1990)
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (1990)
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan (2014)