Trade Secrets and Unfair Competition
A trade secret may consist of any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information which is used in one's business, and which gives him an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it… The subject matter of a trade secret must be secret… Substantially, a trade secret is known only in the particular business in which it is used. - Restatement of Torts
Trade secrets do not have to be complex chemical formulations. For example, you may not realize that your extensive list of corporate clients that you have compiled through the years may be a valuable trade secret that is worth protecting. This is especially true given the intense competition present in today’s global economy; employees come and go, new competing companies are established, and they would like nothing more than to access your customer list and begin pitching.
Lucas & Mercanti has decades of experience protecting our clients’ most sensitive information. Our comprehensive services include:
- Identifying any methods, formula, compilation or other information that will qualify and benefit from trade secret protection
- Assisting clients with the creation, implementation and review of trade secret programs that are manageable and enforceable
- Preventing misappropriation by instituting security measures that minimize opportunities for the misuse or disclosure of trade secrets or other sensitive information that may not qualify for trade secret protection
- Conducting internal audits and investigations concerning the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets
- Preparing or revising employment and consultant agreements to protect against trade secret misappropriation
- Taking appropriate actions if a trade secret is misappropriated from our client, including obtaining emergency injunctive relief to enjoin further use or dissemination
- Litigating, and strategic use of dispositive motions, to quickly resolve trade secret disputes, winning judgments for trade secret owners, and defending clients wrongfully accused of misappropriation
Unfair competition protects against fraudulent, deceptive or dishonest practices that are prohibited by statute or common law. This includes actions for infringement of patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets, among others. Trade secret theft is unfortunately becoming more commonplace. Indeed, one of the most common claims for unfair competition involves the misappropriation of trade secrets.
Certain safeguards must be in place to protect confidential information before it can be considered a valid and protectable trade secret. If appropriate procedures and protocols are not in place, or alternatively are not enforced, courts may reject any claim that a trade secret ever existed at all. It is important that you contact us to identify and protect all your valuable intellectual property before it becomes too late to secure.