Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke is a litigation partner in the San Francisco office of Munger, Tolles & Olson. Ms. Luedtke’s practice focuses on complex business litigation, with a particular emphasis on intellectual property matters. For two years in a row, Ms. Luedtke has been named among California's "Top Women Lawyers" by the Daily Journal and to The Recorder’s Women Leaders in Technology Law list. The publication also named her one of the top 20 attorneys under 40 in 2012.
Trade Secret and Employee Mobility
Ms. Luedtke has significant experience in trade secret matters, both in situations involving employee mobility, where individuals move from one competitor to another, and in cases involving allegations of trade secret theft in connection with business relationships, non-disclosure agreements, due diligence, and partnerships. Ms. Luedtke also has an active practice counseling clients on trade secret protection plans, as well as conducting investigations into the potential theft of trade secret information and working to resolve those situations short of litigation.
Ms. Luedtke is a frequent speaker at law schools, industry conferences and continuing legal education seminars on the issues that can arise in connection with trade secrets.
Air Lease Corporation, currently defending against allegations of trade secret theft, aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary, and unfair competition relating to the formation of the company by Steven Udvar-Hazy after he retired from competitor ILFC, a subsidiary of AIG.
Major television network, in defeating an effort by CBS to enjoin the reality show “The Glass House” based on, among other things, allegations that the producers of “The Glass House” took trade secrets about reality television production from their former employment at CBS working on its show “Big Brother.”
Playdom, in litigation brought by Zynga over the hiring of 11 former Zynga employees and the alleged theft of ideas for new games, as well as Zynga’s alleged “secret sauce” for social gaming.
Argon ST Inc. (wholly owned subsidiary of Boeing), in obtaining summary judgment on trade secret claims related to power amplifier technology in satellite technology.
Rambus, in obtaining summary judgment on breach of fiduciary duty and breach of confidence allegations brought by Samsung in connection with Rambus’s employment of a former Samsung in-house counsel and allegations that he misappropriated secret patent prosecution strategies to use at Rambus. Through these claims, Samsung had sought an offset of more than $400 million damages against patent infringement damages.
Microsoft, in defending against trade secret theft allegations related to advanced technology in computer mice.
A major packaged goods company in bringing trade secret litigation against a competitor and former employee for the theft of information. Obtained stipulated injunction and ultimately achieved favorable settlement.
A top Silicon Valley technology executive, in litigation over the enforceability of a non-competition agreement. Obtained favorable settlement that allowed executive to commence work at new job.
Taking Complex Civil Litigation To Trial
Ms. Luedtke has extensive experience taking complex commercial litigation cases to trial and arbitration.
Currently defending NCAA in nationwide class action by current and former Division I college football and men’s basketball players asserting antitrust and intellectual property claims relating to NCAA rules that allegedly preclude student-athletes from being paid for the alleged use of their name, image, and likeness. The case was tried in June 2014.
Defended leading aircraft manufacturer in a confidential arbitration over contractual rights to certain aircraft technology.
Represented Rambus in multiple jury and bench trials in federal court from 2005 to 2009, including a jury trial victory on antitrust claims in 2008 that was named the Daily Journal’s top defense verdict of the year.
Ms. Luedtke’s experience in the copyright field includes her work in 2011 for the motion picture industry in shutting down Zediva, an unauthorized service that streamed movies from a warehouse of “rented” DVDs; her representation of Playdom in source code copyright allegations brought by Zynga that settled on the eve of trial; her representation of Vostu in copyright claims brought by Zynga for Vostu’s game portfolio; her representation of Electronic Arts in copyright infringement litigation against Zynga over its game “The Ville”; and her representation of a major television network in defeating CBS’s efforts to enjoin the reality television show “The Glass House.”
Ms. Luedtke is at the forefront of litigation in the field of online and social gaming, Beginning with her representation of Playdom in high-profile litigation against Zynga in 2009, Ms. Luedtke has developed experience and expertise in the legal issues that emerge in the gaming industry. She has advised gaming companies on issues related to the protection of intellectual property – both trade secret and copyright – in gaming properties. Ms. Luedtke was lead counsel for Electronic Arts in its copyright litigation against Zynga in 2012, in which EA alleged that Zynga’s online social game “The Ville” infringed EA’s copyrighted game “Sims Social.” That case settled in 2013. Ms. Luedtke was also co-lead counsel in representing Vostu (at the time the world’s largest maker of online social games in Brazil) in litigation in which Vostu was accused of copying a variety of Zynga’s leading online social games. That case settled in 2012.
In addition to litigation, Ms. Luedtke counsels a variety of companies in the gaming space on legal issues facing the gaming industry, and she speaks frequently at industry conferences. She is also a board member of the Silicon Valley Campaign for Legal Services.