Trade Secrets

        Protect Your Intellectual Property


What is a trade secret?

     A trade secret is any proprietary information that serves as advantage over competitors and is kept secret. It is broadly defined and can range from a manufacturing process to software coding.
What factors are considered when determining whether a trade secret has been infringed?

     The owner of the trade secret must prove that the alleged confidential information provided a competitive advantage, the information was maintained in secrecy and the information was improperly acquired or disclosed by the defendant.

What are my rights if someone infringes my trade secret?

     A lawsuit may be brought under federal or state law depending upon the circumstances. Under the Economic Espionage Act, individuals can be fined up to $500,000, and corporations can be fined up to $5,000,000 plus possible jail time for trade secret infringement. Several states have also enacted laws making it a crime to infringe upon or steal a trade secret.

Are there applicable state or common laws?

     Many states also have their own trade secret legislation which should be considered when developing your policy.

Some of the most important assets in your business may be your intellectual property. These are intangible assets, including patents, trademarks and trade secrets. The U.S. government created these protections to keep your intellectual property against infringement.