Understanding Trade Secrets
A trade secret is a type of intellectual property in the form of information. That information is in the form of a process, technique, or formula used by a company. For the information to be considered a trade secret, it must give a business an advantage over another business that does not know or implement the supposed secret. Trade secrets have no expiration date, but lose protection after the secret is discovered. General knowledge of a trade secret or its public release voids protection as well.
In the United States, trade secret information must be legally protected due to the country’s membership with the World Trade Organization. Legal protection is offered by state laws, which vary slightly from state to state. However, the Uniform Trade Secret Act is the basis for each state’s law, allowing for similarities between states.
Means of Court Protection:
Misappropriation: if a trade secret has been misappropriated, a court can order that the responsible party take proper precautions in preventing further release of secrets, and force responsible persons to pay the business in royalties.
Damages: a court may also ask that the responsible party pay a business back for any damages caused, cover court fees, and even pay attorney fees.
Contact an Attorney
The exposure of a trade secret can cause an extreme loss of profits for a business. If your business has suffered losses after the reveal of a trade secret, contact Plano intellectual property attorneys Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., to learn about how they can help by calling (214) 824-1414.