What differentiates trade secret protection from other intellectual property protections – like patents and copyrights? Several things, but most importantly: Federal registration isn’t required for trade secrets to be 100% enforceable.
Basic Trade Secret Definition: What You Must Prove To Win A Trade Secret Case
To win a trade secret misappropriation case, plaintiffs must satisfy the preponderance of evidence established in both case law and the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
- Existence: In order to win a trade secret law case, plaintiffs must prove that the material under review was confidential information and that the defendant knew it was confidential information.
- Access: A plaintiff must prove that the defendant had access to the material.
- Notice: A plaintiff can’t win a case unless he or she can prove that the defendant knew the information was private and purposefully kept from public knowledge.
- Use: Claimants must prove that defendants used the trade secret under review.
Confidentiality Agreements Ensure Actionability
Mere W-2 status within an organization is not an automatic confidentiality contract. An additional agreement – that clearly outlines the parameters of a given trade secret – is needed to win in court. Without signed terms, a judge may deem that a trade secret, which was developed BY an employee, to be the property of an employee, not a company.
Kelly / Warner: Trade Secret Law Attorneys
Kelly / Warner law works with startups and businesses on various trade secret issues. We’ve successfully secured emergency injunctions, drafted air-tight confidentiality agreements to ensure trade secret validity, and represented clients – as both plaintiffs and defendants – in trade secret lawsuits.
Kelly / Warner is a boutique law firm that delivers better-than-big-firm results, for a fraction of the price. Get in touch to start exploring your legal options.
Kelly / Warner is an AV-rated practice, with a 10-out-of-10 rating on lawyer review website AVVO.com that practices trade secret law.