TRADE SECRET MATTERS
Trade secrets are a unique form of intellectual property that are not conferred in any respect by any formal application, registration, or other government-controlled procedure. However, they are defined and protected by a rather formidable array of state and federal statutes that are typically invoked by parties seeking to enforce alleged violations of their trade secret rights. These violations can also lead to criminal prosecution, with stiff fines and penalties.
Generally speaking, a trade secret is any information that derives independent economic value from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and for which reasonable measures have been taken to maintain its secrecy. Once proven to be extant, a party’s trade secrets, which may include, for example, the technical know-how employed in manufacturing processes and confidential business information such as a company's business procedures, certain internal financial information, customer lists, and the like are protectable against misappropriation and/or unauthorized use by others.
We have considerable experience advising clients about trade secret matters. We provide advice and guidance to clients on best practices for establishing and maintaining trade secret protection and for avoiding claims of trade secret misappropriation or unlawful use. One important aspect of our trade secret competence is helping clients maintain protection for new technology as a trade secret without sacrificing the option of pursuing patent protection for the same.
We also represent parties in the prosecution and defense of trade secret claims in federal and state courts.