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THEFT AND MISSAPROPRIATION OF TRADE SECRETS

You or your business may have developed information or techniques, which allow you to conduct your business better, faster, cheaper or more profitably. You may have taken certain steps to reasonably protect this information from your competitors and have restricted others access to it.  If this is true then you or your business may have developed “trade secrets” and confidential information deserving of legal protections and for which civil remedies exist for their theft or misappropriation.

Trade Secrets and Proprietary Information are your property, not unlike a piece of equipment.  If a competitor hires away an employee who possesses this information in order to get it, both your competitor and your employee have probably engaged in a theft of trade secrets.  You may very well be entitled to the profits you have lost or the profits they have made as a result of this theft.

Examples of trade secrets can be manufacturing techniques or processes, customer lists, or information about customers, pricing, scientific data, or engineering reports which allows you to effectively do their business or market in a way which may provide a competitive advantage over someone who does not possess this information.

Trade secrets and proprietary information can be developed over time, through trial and error, by invention, or by technical or specialized work. Your employees, and competitors should not be able to wrongly acquire it and use it to compete with you.  In some instances, Temporary Restraining Orders, and other prompt filings may be required, as well as a review of employment contracts, non compete and non disclosure documents and confidentiality agreements.

Get active about protecting your rights and determining if you have a claim, so that your inactivity does not cause you damages beyond what you believe you have experienced. Though, your competitors cannot use your employees to compete with you and should not be able to take your valuable trade secrets, if you do not take action, your damages can be compounded. 

Some of the typical forms of trade secrets are formulas for chemical compounds, processes and technical procedures, machines used in business, molds, blue prints and drawings, product designs and information, technical specifications, computer software, and even know how.  Any of this information, which is specifically developed, by you or your employees as part of the ordinary scope of work, it belongs to the company.

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