Trade secrets are loosely defined as proprietary or confidential information used in a business. The secret must have monetary value or provide the owner with some type of competitive advantage. Businesses must be very careful to maintain an element of secrecy by taking reasonable precautions, such as the use of confidentiality or non-compete agreements, before proposing the secret idea to a potential buyer, investor, employee, or other person. A company may spend a great deal of time, effort and resources developing client or potential client lists, manufacturing processes, industrial and technological information, product or processes specifications, business strategies and marketing plans — priceless information that is not available to the general public. When this information is illegally shared with competitors, it can cause permanent damage to business interests.
Attorneys at Jimerson Birr have counseled and represented employers and employees in disputes involving trade secrets, non-compete and non-solicitation agreements, the employee duty of loyalty, and all aspects of trade secret litigation, including:
- Preparing agreements and other documents with corresponding policy implementation procedures that allow employers to protect valuable information and customer relationships
- Breach of non-compete, non-solicitation, and/or non-disclosure agreements
- Misappropriation of trade secrets and seeking temporary and permanent injunctions to prevent the immediate use of trade secrets
- Counseling employers who are hiring employees as well as those who have employees departing, and advising individuals through the process of transitioning from one employer to another
- Tortious interference with business or contractual relationships
For more information about our practice, or to discuss your legal concerns with a lawyer who understands trade secret law, contact our offices today.