Protect Your Trade Secrets
Trade secrets are any confidential information that provides your company a competitive advantage. This includes information such as ingredients or formulas, manufacturing processes, research and development information or client lists.
Unauthorized use of trade secrets by anyone other than the holder may be deemed a violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) or state trade secret laws. Enforcement of trade secret protection includes court-ordered injunctions preventing further disclosure or use of a trade secret. The holder of a trade secret may pursue compensation for economic damages caused by the disclosure of the proprietary information.
The attorneys at Hovey Williams LLP, in suburban Kansas City, understand the intricacies of the UTSA and the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which make theft or misappropriation of a trade secret a federal crime. We can help you be proactive in protecting your rights and properly securing other sensitive information through employment agreements, non-compete and nondisclosure or confidentiality agreements. We also defend clients who are accused of violating trade secret laws.
Trade Secrets Do Not Require Registration
Unlike patents, trade secrets do not require registration and can be protected for an unlimited period of time. In order to be considered a trade secret, information:
- Must have commercial value
- Must not be generally known or readily available to people who routinely deal with that sort of information
- Must be treated by the rightful owner in a manner designed to keep the information secret
Key Steps To Protect Your Trade Secrets
There are a number of steps you can take to properly protect your trade secrets, including:
- Use of nondisclosure and non-compete provisions in employment or independent-contractor agreements
- Keeping records and other materials containing trade secrets in locked storage
- Maintaining up-to-date computer security
- Training employees so they understand your company’s trade secrets and the policies in place to protect that information
- Providing access to proprietary information only to those people who need to have it
- Our attorneys can help audit your procedures and set a plan for proper protection of your most important competitive information
A Reputation Built Over 90 Years
Our firm has protected intellectual property of all types for more than 90 years. We represent clients throughout Kansas, Missouri, the Midwest and nationally from our office in metro Kansas City.
Whether you feel proprietary information has been shared with competitors, or you wish to take precautions to prevent that from happening, we welcome the opportunity to review your legal matter and recommend an effective course of action. Call 913-647-9050 or use our online contact form to schedule a meeting with one of our knowledgeable and experienced lawyers.