When a business works hard to develop systems, procedures, recipes, formulas, and practices—protectable as trade secrets—to advance the success, productivity, and profitability of their business, they have great interest in protecting that information from those who may steal or misappropriate the business’s trade secrets.
Trade secrets are a form of intellectual property, along with patents, copyrights, and trademarks; however, there is no formal registration process to protect trade secrets. Instead, trade secrets are protected by a contractual agreement between the owner of the proprietary information and any other individual who may have access to this information and signs a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement.
If you are a California business owner and believe that proprietary trade secrets belonging to your business have been stolen or misappropriated by an employee, contractor, consultant, or any other person who had access to this information, you should contact an experienced business attorney to discuss your rights and options.
Proving Trade Secret Theft
Protecting your trade secrets begins with having strong contracts and policies in place to ensure that your employees, contractors, and consultants understand that they are not to disclose, misappropriate, or steal trade secrets they learn of while working for or with your business.
If you believe that your trade secrets have been stolen, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced business and intellectual property lawyer to counsel you about your options and remedies.
To succeed in a trade secret misappropriation or theft claim, you must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that:
The information qualified as a trade secret at the time of the misappropriation;
You are the owner of the trade secret;
Proper precautions were taken to protect the trade secret;
The trade secret was misappropriated;
The resulting damage or unjust enrichment was caused by the disclosure or misappropriation.
Remedies for Trade Secret Misappropriation
If you are successful in a trade secret misappropriation claim in California, you may be entitled to both injunctive and monetary relief, depending on the circumstances of your case.
It is possible to seek a court order in California called an injunctive order, which prohibits a party from disclosing or using your trade secrets. This form of relief may be appropriate to prevent or mitigate damage to the business.
Typically, if you prevail in a claim of trade secret misappropriation against a defendant, you will be entitled to monetary relief for the unjust enrichment or actual loss caused by the misappropriation, unauthorized disclosure, or theft of your trade secrets.
An Experienced Advocate You Can Trust
If you are a business in California and you have suffered from trade secret misappropriation, scheduling a consultation with an experienced business and intellectual property lawyer at Thaler Law will help to ensure that your proprietary information is protected and you recover the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us at 866-271-5290 or online today for your free consultation.