Los Angeles Trade Secret Disputes Attorney
The most valuable property that most businesses possess is not physical but intellectual. Businesses must fight to ensure that the systems or information they’ve relied on to make their product unique remain protected from public dissemination. Disclosure by a former employee or after a failed collaboration with another business can result in devastating financial losses.
If you’ve been the victim of theft or wrongful disclosure of a trade secret, you may have the right to disgorged profits or other forms of money damages and injunctive relief. Get a free consultation on your trade secret dispute by contacting a business attorney, at the offices of Andrew Ritholz.
How does California law define a “trade secret”?
A trade secret can be any type of information that a business relies upon as a source of actual or potential monetary value. Specifically, the definition under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) defines a trade secret as:
information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that:
(1) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and
(2) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.
Unlike patents or trademarks, which are publicly disclosed as a means of protecting them, trade secrets lose their value once disclosed. Additionally, protections of trade secrets never expire, unlike those of patents or trademarks. It is unavoidable that people other than the owners or executives of a business will come to learn its trade secrets. When employees move to a new company or partnerships between businesses sour, there is a risk that these persons or entities will misappropriate trade secrets in their subsequent ventures, possibly resulting in a direct loss of revenue for your company. When trade secrets are disclosed by persons or companies who had a duty to maintain these secrets, then the victim may have a legal claim for compensation for the harm they suffered as a result.
What are examples of trade secrets?
The definition of what constitutes a “trade secret” under the law is intentionally broad, as many different types of information, or even methods of organizing information, can be harmful to a company if disclosed. Examples might include:
- Recipes or formulas
- Client lists
- Market predictions or trend forecasts
- Marketing plans
- Research methods
- Manufacturing techniques
- Product information
- Computer code or algorithms
Call Andrew Ritholz to Resolve Your Pasadena Business Litigation and Trade Secrets Disputes
For experienced and trial-ready legal representation for a California trade secret dispute, contact the Pasadena Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz at 626-844-7102.