If your personal of business trade secrets have been stolen, disclosed, or improperly used by a competitor or other entity, you may have the right to prohibit further use and collect financial compensation.
More and more companies and entrepreneurs are electing to protect their proprietary information by branding as trade secrets rather than patenting information. Not only do patents provide an opportunity for competitors to discover valuable, confidential details, but patent infringement cases can be more difficult to argue than trade secret misappropriation cases. Plus, establishing and protecting trade secrets is considerably less costly when compared to patents. In modern society, even trade secrets aren’t immune from theft. The Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property estimates that the U.S. economy loses $300 billion per year to trade secrets theft.
Protecting today’s trade secrets isn’t quite as simple as avoiding patents, diverse manufacturing or locking away notes in a safe. Modern employees don’t tend to stick with the same company as long as they used to. Nowadays, employees often transfer to competitor companies as they move up in their careers. This increased employee mobility comes with an increase in the potential for trade secret disclosure, whether the employee leaves with documents, computer files or mere memory. For those whose trade secrets are being threatened, have been stolen, or are being used without permission, this guide helps you understand the basics of the several state and federal laws that offer protection and remedies for any financial damage resulting from the illegal use of your intellectual property.