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Trade Secret Litigation

Trade secrets are what make your business what it is today and what it might be in the future. This is information worth protection because losing it could cripple your business in the short term and bring it to a premature end in the future. We represent parties who want to protect their trade secrets and those accused of misusing them.

Trade secrets can include customer lists, sales, marketing and strategic plans. They can be unpatented inventions or designs, software, formulas, recipes, techniques, processes and other business information that can give you a competitive edge. Information may be considered a trade secret if it’s,

  • Unknown outside your business,
  • Is protected by reasonable measures to guard its secrecy,
  • Has value, and,
  • Is difficult for others to properly acquire or independently copy.

California has passed the Uniform Trade Secrets Act which calls the theft of trade secrets misappropriation. This is the acquisition of a trade secret by someone who knows, or has reason to know, it was acquired improperly (by theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or inducement of a breach of duty to maintain secrecy). Misappropriation also includes the disclosure or use of a trade secret. A federal law, the Defend Trade Secrets Act, also covers trade secrets.

We help companies understand what trade secrets are and how they can be protected. In order to be protected by law, the company with this information needs to take efforts to maintain its secrecy. Business can take several steps to try to prevent the loss of trade secrets, including,

  • Non-disclosure agreements, which prevent contractors, employees or ex-employees from revealing or using trade secrets,
  • Physical security measures that will make it more difficult to access your facility and remove your trade secrets, including password protected devices, being able to remotely access or clear devices of information, firewalls, passwords and configuring your network so that information is accessed by only those on a need to know basis, and,
  • If an employee with access to your trade secrets tells you they’re leaving, the computer devices the person used should be preserved. Human resources should conduct an exit interview and remind the departing employee about his or her signed non-disclosure agreement and your information technology department should see if trade secrets were recently accessed and transmitted outside the company or stored on a device that could be easily taken from your premises.

If you efforts failed and your trade secrets are being used against you, legal action could be brought against the person exposing your trade secrets and the entity using them for their gain. You can quickly suffer harm so it’s important that evidence that these trade secrets were taken be sought as soon as possible so legal action can be taken to try to stop their use.

If you want to learn more about trade secrets law or you believe your business has had its trade secrets misappropriated or you or your business has been accused of trade secret misappropriation, Focus Law can help. To schedule a consultation with an experienced California business law attorney call (714) 415-2007 now.

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