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Cypress Semiconductor Corp. v. Maxim Integrated Products, Inc., H038555 (Apr. 28, 2015)

Articles Discussing Case:

California Court of Appeals Awards Attorneys' Fees to Defendant For Misappropriation of Trade Secrets Claim Brought in Bad Faith

Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 03, 2015
A California appellate court recently affirmed the trial court’s ruling in Cypress Semiconductor Corporation v. Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. that the defendant (“Maxim”) was entitled to attorney’s fees under California Civil Code section 3426.4 even after the plaintiff (“Cypress”) voluntarily dismissed the action without prejudice. Section 3426.4 awards reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to a prevailing party if a claim of misappropriation of trade secrets is made in bad faith. The appellate court supported its finding on the basis that: (1) Cypress accused Maxim of nothing more, and Maxim did nothing more, than attempt to recruit the employees of a competitor, which Maxim was entitled to do under California law, and (2) Maxim was the prevailing party after Cypress dismissed the suit to avoid an adverse determination on the merits.