A trade secret is (1) information which has independent economic value from not being generally known, and which is not readily ascertainable by others who can obtain economic value from the information, and (2) subject to reasonable efforts, under the circumstances, to maintain its secrecy.
Items which fall within the category of trade secrets are wide ranging - secret manufacturing processes, a list of a business' clients and their phone numbers, a corporation's proprietary software code, or the formula for Coca-Cola.
Employers often are concerned that employees will take trade secrets with them when they move to another job. For these reasons, employers seek non-compete agreements from their workers. These agreements will be enforced if not overly restrictive.
If a trade secret has been stolen, you must act quickly to preserve your trade secret rights. The more people who know about the secret, then less likely it will be able to maintain its trade secret status. Thus, you must contact an attorney immediately, and seek an injunction against the wrongdoer before the trade secret is widely distributed.
If you are accused of trade secret misappropriation, you have several defenses. You may argue that the information was not a trade secret. Also, if you are able to show that you independently created the information in the trade secret, then you have the right to do whatever you want with that information.
This law firm is not currently accepting cases involving trade secrets, but can refer your matter to attorneys who practice trade secret law. If you have questions about trade secret law, please contact an attorney.
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