Trade Secret Counseling. A trade secret is a collection of important business information that is confidential and conveys an economic advantage over competitors. They are invisible, but often highly valuable components of a company’s intellectual property. It is extremely important to identify trade secrets as soon as they are developed and to take immediate steps to protect them. Protorae Law’s Intellectual Property and Technology Law attorneys have experience identifying and distinguishing trade secrets from other forms of intellectual property and recommending specific strategies designed to protect this unique type of asset.
Part of this strategy involves protection against unintentional loss or intentional theft of trade secrets that can cost clients millions of dollars per incident. Our team works with you to craft trade secret policies and procedures best suited to protect your competitive information, as well as to comply with relevant legislation including the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA). We also partner with forensic technology specialists to track and identify evidence of trade secret theft in your company. If evidence of theft is found, we help you understand your legal options and respond quickly. The DTSA, for example, provides a powerful ex parte seizure remedy for trade secret violations. To take advantage of this extraordinary remedy, however, trade secret owners must be quickly armed and ready with strict evidentiary requirements.
The DTSA has additional practical implications for all companies dealing with sensitive competitive information. Most notably, all employers are required to provide notice to their employees of the DTSA’s whistleblower protections. Should an employer fail to give this notice, it may not recover exemplary damages or attorneys’ fees in any subsequent lawsuit against an employee for improper disclosure of trade secrets. We help our clients comply with this relatively new federal legal requirement by reviewing all contracts and policies that deal with the use or disclosure of trade secrets such as non-disclosure agreements, employment contracts, employee handbooks, consulting contracts, independent contractor agreements, and collaboration and joint venture agreements.