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. In 2013, Ms. Luedtke was named one of the Top Women Lawyers in California by the Daily Journal. 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, due diligence and partnerships. She is experienced at litigating trade secret matters in federal and state court, as well as in arbitration. 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’s most successful representations are those that remain private and confidential because a mutually beneficial resolution was obtained that avoided costly 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.
Representative trade secret matters include Ms. Luedtke’s representation of:
ABC, 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.
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.
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 Disney’s 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 ABC in defeating CBS’s efforts to enjoin the reality television show “The Glass House.”
General Commerical Litigation
Ms. Luedtke has extensive experience in general commercial litigation in a variety of industries. For example, she is currently representing an aircraft manufacturer in a confidential arbitration over contractual rights to certain aircraft technology. Ms. Luedtke also represented Safeway in a complex RICO matter against the nation’s pharmacies and obtained a dismissal of all claims, a decision upheld in 2012 by the 9th Circuit.
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.
Ms. Luedtke graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1994 with a degree in History and American Studies. After working as a management consultant for Marakon Associates, she attended Harvard Law School, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1999. Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Luedtke clerked for the Hon. William W Schwarzer of the United States District Court, Northern District of California.