Stokes O'Brien

Protection With A Trade Secret Attorney

Posted in Business Lawyer on April 15, 2019

Get The Trade Secret Attorney You Need

If you run a business, there are going to be business-related needs that only an attorney can handle. But what kind of attorney do you need? Trade secret attorneys can help protect valuable information that gives your business a competitive edge over others. That information could be a program, a method, a process, a formula, a pattern, a compilation, a technique, or any number of other things. A trade secret always has to include these elements: first, it must not be something that is known to the public. Second, its information is economically beneficial to the business. And third, the business is making efforts to maintain secrecy around the information.

Trade Secrets, Patents, And Trademarks

Trade secrets might sound like patents and trademarks, but there are different statues that protect the various kinds of intellectual property. Trademarks and patents are protected by federal statutes while state laws are what protect trade secrets. However, using the trade secrets after stealing them can be a federal crime as well. Trademarks and patents are not secret from the public and, in fact, it is better for the owner to let people know about the trademark or patent. Trade secrets, on the other side, are concealed because the business will lose economic edge if the secret gets out. Trademarks and patents are also subject to exemptions and those don’t apply to trade secrets and trade secrets don’t expire.

Protecting Trade Secrets

If you own a business that has a trade secret, you can protect them in a legal manner by adding terms to employee’s contracts, like Non-Disclosure Agreements. Employees have to keep company information confidential, or they can be sued. Ex-employees might also be banned from sharing the secrets through non-compete clauses. Companies that want to protect their secrets usually address these policies during the training process once an employee is hired.

Trade Secret Lawsuits

Most lawsuits in this area happen between the person who allegedly holds the trade secret and someone else, like a competitor or a former employee. In lawsuits, competitors will often claim they held the trade secret first so it is important for businesses to keep a record of the dates when they created the trade secret so they can prove when they came up with it and started using it.

Getting A Trade Secret Attorney

If you think another business or individual is using a trade secrete you created and have been protecting, you will want to get a trade secret attorney to help with your case. The specialized attorney can let you know whether or not you have a valid claim. If you do, you could get monetary damages or you could get an injunction to stop them from using your trade secret. If someone has stolen the trade secret in an unlawful manner, they could be charged with criminal penalties. If you have been accused of using someone else’s trade secret, you will also want a specialized attorney, like those available at Stokes O’Brien.