Trying the most complex issues
for over 30 years.

Trying the most complex issues for over 30 years.

Addressing trade secret infringement in court

On Behalf of | Jun 17, 2024 | Intellectual Property Litigation

Many types of intellectual property protection require formal registration. Businesses intending to use a logo to represent their brands typically register their trademarks with the federal government. Inventors and organizations can prosecute patents to protect ideas from use by others. Copyright protection is available for published works and original creations submitted for registration to federal authorities.

There’s one type of intellectual property that companies generally cannot register but still have the right to protect. Trade secrets are non-public information that helps give a company a competitive advantage. Companies do not have to register and disclose their trade secrets to protect this valuable form of intellectual property from infringement.

Litigation can help protect trade secrets

Many intellectual property matters require the attention of the civil court. The plaintiff alleging misconduct by an individual or competing business presents the courts with evidence of inappropriate behavior and requests a specific solution to.

In cases involving trade secrets, there could be multiple types of infringement that occur. An organization might engage in corporate espionage, which could involve intentionally infiltrating a business with a worker already employed in a bid to gain access to information. Other times, one business may simply hire employees who leave a competing organization in the hopes of accessing non-public information. Sometimes trade secret violations occur because prior employees start their own businesses.

Typically, there needs to be proof that one person or business accessed and potentially abused non-public information that belongs to a particular business. Compelling proof could range from products that duplicate a secret company to evidence that a former salesperson has reached out to every client they communicated with in the past to solicit them for business.

What can the courts do?

Provided that the plaintiff can prove that an intellectual property violation occurred, there are several ways of resolving the issue. The courts can issue an injunction effectively forbidding additional infringing activities. A court order can prevent a competitor from misusing trade secrets that it accessed inappropriately or continuing to solicit a competitor’s clients.

Many times, pursuing damages might be the best option available. Claims for damages could result in financial compensation for lost sales and a reduction in the company’s overall competitive edge. Developing a trade secret case often involves both thorough research and an understanding of complicated intellectual property laws.

Partnering with the right support can increase an organization’s chances of protecting valuable trade secrets from infringing activities. The sooner an organization takes action, the less likely trade secret violations are to cause long-term damage to the company.