Trade Secret Law
About Trade Secret Law.
A trade secret may consist of any formula, pattern, device, or compilation of information that is used in your business and gives you an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.
Common types of trade secrets include industrial or manufacturing secrets, formulas, processes, production methods, distribution or sales methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, and client or supplier lists, among many others. Using trade secrets improperly is a violation of trade secret protection under various laws prohibiting industrial or commercial espionage, breach of contract, or unauthorized dissemination of confidential information.
Unlike other kinds of intellectual property, trade secrets aren’t registered anywhere, and can be protected for an unlimited period of time. Some general standards exist about what is necessary for something to be considered a trade secret:
The information must be secret, i.e., it is not generally known among, or readily accessible to, competitors or peers in the industry or specialization.
It must have commercial value because it is a secret.
The rightful holder of the information must take reasonable steps to keep it secret, e.g., through confidentiality agreements.
If a plaintiff proves that someone has misappropriated trade secrets, it is usually entitled to injunctive relief, to try and halt any further misappropriation. Additionally, a plaintiff can recover damages in an amount sufficient to compensate it for the economic loss caused by the defendant’s misappropriation, and possibly punitive damages, prejudgment interest and attorney’s fees.
Res Nova Law can help you avoid claims for trade secret violations and, if appropriate, to litigate trade secret issues.
Protect Your Proprietary Information.
We can help you with:
Drafting of confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements ("NDAs");
Trade secret strategy and enforcement;
Advising re: trade secret vs. patent protection;
Independent contractor, employee, & consultant agreements;
Trade secret licensing and assignment agreements;
Drafting and responding to cease-and-desist letters;
Trade secret litigation (e.g., misappropriation and breach of contract) in state and federal courts; and
Settlement negotiations and alternative dispute resolution (e.g., mediation and arbitration).
Check out our other articles on intellectual property and business law, and click below to learn more about the other types of intellectual property:
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