Trade Secrets Lawyer
If the trade secrets your business relies on are at risk of being compromised, or have already been publicly exposed, you need an experienced and capable trade secrets lawyer who can advise you on this complex area of intellectual property law. Many business owners and investors opt to bypass patent law because of the potential for risk of exposing their proprietary information during the patent approval process. This, however, does not mean there is no legal recourse when your confidential information has been used or disclosed without your consent or obtained through unauthorized means.
Trade Secrets Laws
Trade secrets are often an employer’s most valuable assets, and as such, having a team of trade secret lawyers well versed in state and federal intellectual property law can help your business maintain the competitive edge it needs to remain successful. Indeed, federal laws such as the Economic Espionage Act and the Defend Trade Secrets Act protect business owners’ trade secrets. Under both federal and state law, trade secret protection applies broadly to business, financial, and technical information, including:
- client lists
- marketing plans
- pricing and discount structures
- production processes
- chemical formulas
- software source code
Generally, for a trade secret to be recognized as such by law, it must meet all of the following three criteria:
- The information is not generally known or ascertainable outside of the owner’s organization and control
- The owner derives independent economic value or business advantage from the information not being generally known
- The owner makes reasonable efforts to preserve its secrets
Trade Secrets Protection for Misappropriation
Trade secret infringement is generally referred to as trade secret misappropriation. The Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act (TUTSA), modeled after the federal UTSA, defines misappropriation of trade secrets as the acquisition, disclosure, and use of trade secrets without the consent of the owner. Improper acquisition could include:
- Espionage through electronic or other means
- Breach of a legal duty
Such misappropriation often occurs, for example, when a former employee misuses or improperly discloses the information to a competitor – such as their new employer. Other times, this information is acquired and then given to investors for compensation or for use in starting new companies. This could be done through a physical or electronic theft of documents, fraud, unauthorized interception of communication, or even breach of a valid confidentiality agreement. The trade secrets lawyers at Adair Myers Stevenson Yagi have experience investigating a wide variety of infringements and can help you pursue all available legal remedies.
The trade secrets lawyers Adair Myers Stevenson Yagi are able to investigate misappropriations you believe occurred and determine the applicable next steps. Critically, our attorneys are also successful and experienced business litigators capable of taking your claims to court.
Trade Secret Litigation
Since the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act in 2016, lawyers can now access enhanced remedies when pursuing trade secret litigation. It is, however, important to remember there is no official registration procedure for this type of confidential business information the way there is for patents, for example. Your rights are only secured by your business’ efforts to preserve the secrecy of proprietary information through nondisclosure and confidentiality agreements and other reasonable methods. In order to mitigate the chances of having to pursue litigation, have an intellectual property lawyer review all of your agreements with employees, contractors, suppliers, investors, and partners, as well as assist you in developing other creative means to prevent theft. Having the appropriate protection in place will not only keep your trade secrets from being stolen, but it will also help establish legal precedent for enforcement.
Unfortunately, no matter the precautions you take, there are still those who will take advantage of your business by stealing valuable confidential information. As an owner of a trade secret, the law permits you to you file claims for misappropriation of the trade secrets and you may be able to seek compensation for lost profits, monetary damages, statutory damages, equitable relief, and attorneys’ fees.
Frequently, trade secret owners will pursue litigation in order to accomplish several goals, including to:
- Stop further unauthorized use or disclosure of trade secrets
- Recover propriety secrets
- Secure all available damages
The law firm of Adair Myers Stevenson Yagi is well versed in intellectual property law and has experience securing appropriate remedies for our clients, such as monetary damages and injunctions against further use and disclosure. The knowledgeable Houston trade secrets attorneys at Adair Myers Stevenson Yagi can help you implement trade secret protection plans to put your company in a strong position to reduce unauthorized use of its confidential information and pursue litigation when your valuable proprietary information is jeopardized. Please feel free to reach out to us to discuss how we can help protect you and your company’s most valuable intellectual property assets.