Dallas Trade Secret Lawyers
Texas Trade Secrets Protection
A trade secret is any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information which is used in one’s business and presents an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it. Trade secrets represent the life blood of a business because the misappropriation of the knowledge can jeopardize not only the company’s profits, but also its reputation.
At Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., our attorneys can help you protect your company’s trade secrets. To discuss your case in a free consultation, call us at (214) 824-1414 (toll free at 888-312-1750) or send us an e-mail.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Trade secret claims can in many cases involve a lengthy, complicated legal process. Having a lawyer by your side can make the process far less difficult, and get your business back on track without you having to worry about the details. Having an attorney by your side for these often complex cases is a smart decision when considering the future of your business, and ensuring that it is safe and protected going forward. With an attorney’s legal expertise and communication skills, they can clearly and confidently communicate your claim to the relevant parties and assert your right for the proper relief and/or damages to be provided for your business. Lawyers have valuable knowledge about the nature of trade secret claims, and if a temporary restraining order or injunction is needed, they will know how to seek it and fight for it if need be, and help you with anything else that is needed to keep your business protected.
Why Choose Us
Our team of attorneys at Gagnon, Peacock, and Vereeke, P.C. can help you greatly with getting you and your company a favorable result in your trade secrets case. We understand that misappropriation of trade secrets can be a serious blow to your company and we are committed to gaining your company the relief and protection that it needs to get back on the right path. One of the things that we make sure to provide in addition to our dedication while building your case is consistent communication. We make sure to keep you updated on the status of your case and are always transparent, giving you honest feedback of the likelihood of success for your case. With our assurance to you of providing clear, consistent communication, you can have the ability to make informed decisions on your case every step of the way.
Cases We Handle
The misappropriation of trade secrets presents a risk to the growth and success of a business and there are numerous ways that it can occur. Some ways include theft, bribery, or an employee failing in their duty to keep the trade secret from spreading outside the company. Another form of misappropriation is the misuse or disclosure of a trade secret when acquired by improper means. It has become increasingly difficult to keep a trade secret from falling into the wrong hands, but fortunately, there are multiple ways to recover relief or damages for your company.
Initially, there are three things that are needed for a legitimate trade secret claim. First, you need to prove that the subject matter of the issue at hand is a trade secret. The second thing you need to prove is that you made a “reasonable effort” to prevent the trade secret from being disclosed. Finally, you need to prove that someone else had in fact misappropriated the trade secret.
A good question that is often raised in cases such as these is what is meant by “reasonable effort”. This is open to interpretation by the court, but what can be widely agreed on as a good way to safeguard against trade secret disclosure is issuing non-disclosure agreements to employees. Products or documents containing information related to trade secrets being clearly designated as “confidential” can also be an effective way to reduce the risk of disclosure of trade secrets. Taking these steps in your company can serve as proof that there was “reasonable effort” taken to prevent the disclosure of your company’s trade secret.
There are various remedies that may be offered in your trade secrets case, and the recently passed Defend Trade Secrets Act serves to expand the possibilities of remedies and damages that a plaintiff may acquire in a trade secret misappropriation case. The act allows additional relief for companies whose trade secrets have been disclosed in the form of exemplary damages, which are added in an amount of up to twice of the amount of damages assessed for “willful and malicious misappropriation.”
For determining the amount of damages granted to the plaintiff, the act allows the court to give them calculated as an “actual loss caused by the misappropriation.” This could be attributed to “unjust enrichment” or simply provided as a “reasonable royalty.” Another benefit provided to individuals and companies who face trade secret misappropriation is offered by the “civil seizures” provisions of the DTSA. This provision gives the court the ability to seize property when necessary to prevent the “propagation or dissemination” of trade secrets. This provision is used with the goal of avoiding irreparable injury to the owner of the trade secret in question that would likely occur if the property was not seized.
Trade Secrets vs. Patents
One of the most important decisions a business must make is whether to seek trade secret protection. If the business seeks trade secret protection, the business must create procedures which ensure the reasonable protection of the trade secret.
We understand the different benefits and implications associated with each type of legal protection. For instance, it is often easier to qualify information as a trade secret rather than procure a patent. Trade secret protection lasts perpetually unlike patent protection, which typically expires 20 years from the patent’s filing date. However, if the trade secret becomes public, you will lose many rights to the trade secret.
Trade secret law provides protection for a wide range of materials, including:
- Computer hardware
- Computer software
- Technical specifications
- Product design
- Blueprints and drawings
- Machine and machine modifications
- Process and technical procedures
- Business methods
- Customer lists
- Corporate “know-how”
If your trade secret has been misappropriated, you may have the right to recover lost profits, monetary damages, statutory damages, and attorneys fees. You may even be entitled to equitable relief, including preliminary and permanent injunctions to prohibit any further misappropriation.
Trade Secret Litigation
Attorneys with Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., have decades of experience handling complex litigation. We understand how to present facts to the court to demonstrate your claim has merit. Our lawyers will stand by your side to protect your rights at every stage of your case.
Our diligent representation goes beyond litigation. We also provide comprehensive trade secret counseling. We understand the complex guidelines associated with establishing and protecting trade secrets. We will advise your company on how to properly and effectively take reasonable steps to protect your trade secrets.
Free Consultation — Convenient Location
Gagnon, Peacock & Vereeke, P.C., stands ready to put its knowledge and experience to work for you. For a free initial consultation, call us at (214) 824-1414 (toll free at 888-312-1750) or send us an e-mail.
Our offices are located in Dallas just off the North Central Expressway. Free parking is available.