Trade Secret Litigation Attorney
Many businesses rely on trade secrets to create unique products and services. And while trade secrets are mostly protected and honored by employees and others who encounter them, sometimes trade secrets are leaked or stolen and used to exploit existing products and services or create new products and services that are very similar.
What is a Trade Secret?
A trade secret is an idea, formula, production method, concept, or unique set of instructions used to create a product or service. Trade secrets should be protected by those who create and use them on a regular basis.
Ways to Protect Trade Secrets
Unlike trademarks and copyright, you cannot register a trade secret to keep it safe from competitors and others. Even though the Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA) (18 U.S.C., Sections 1831 to 1839) protects the rights of trade secret owners using heavy fines and possible prison time to deter the theft of trade secrets, you must actively protect sensitive information about your business.
Ways to protect trade secrets include requesting employees working closely with sensitive information to sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) that prohibit signers from discussing trade secrets with anyone. Other ways to protect trade secrets include limiting the number of people privy to trade secrets, protecting sensitive information by keeping it in a safe and secure place such as a locked filing cabinet, bank vault, or on a password protected computer or file storage device.
The Trade Secret Litigation Process
Proving an employee, business partner, client, vendor, or other person knowingly stole your trade secrets is essential to winning a trade secret violation case. Under current law, you must provide concrete information that the person or persons knew they were stealing, using, or searching for trade secret information.
Those who accidentally uncover sensitive information by conducting tests on your products, or conducting thorough research into how you run your business may not be liable for damages incurred if they use or make this knowledge public.