Southern California Trade Secrets Lawyer
Trade secrets are as valuable as they are misunderstood. Something of a cousin to traditional intellectual property rights such as trademarks, patents or copyright, trade secrets protect your confidential corporate information. Many businesses live and die by their confidential formulae, client lists, marketing analysis, financial projections, and other data sets. When a disgruntled employee takes your confidential information to a competitor, you could risk losing millions of dollars and suffering permanent damage to your reputation and business interests. We’ll help you make sure that never happens.
The trade secret attorneys at Rounds & Sutter are prepared to bring our years of business law, intellectual property law, and litigation experience to bear in helping you with your trade secret matters. We’ll help you draft employment agreements, confidentiality agreements, and separation agreements to ensure that your trade secrets are protected, and we’ll help you pursue legal action against individuals and entities that misappropriate your valuable corporate information. We’ll work to resolve any disputes through cease and desist letters, arbitration, and other informal means, and should those efforts fail, our experienced trial lawyers fight for you every step of the way.
What is a Trade Secret?
Trade secrets are a lesser-known and unique form of intellectual property protection. Unlike copyrights or trademarks, trade secrets are not registered with the government. Instead, trade secret protection applies when a business takes steps to ensure that the information remains confidential. Trade secrets can take a variety of forms, but the key feature of a trade secret is that it is valuable information the owner intended to keep secret.
Trade secrets are protected under both federal and state law. The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act 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,” and (2) is the “subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.”
Common trade secrets include market projections and strategies, customer lists, computer source code, product information, or technical formulas. If you have data that you consider valuable to your enterprise, and its value comes from keeping the data secret, speak with a seasoned trade secrets attorney to ensure you take the appropriate steps to obtain trade secret protection.
Misappropriation of Trade Secrets in California
California law prohibits the misappropriation of trade secrets. Misappropriation covers both the improper disclosing of trade secrets to another party, such as a former employee sharing confidential information with a rival company, as well as the acquisition or use of a trade secret by another party, such as a rival company acquiring information it knows to be confidential and using it for pecuniary gain. Misappropriation covers corporate theft, bribery, misrepresentation, and breach or induced breach of non-disclosure agreements.
If your trade secrets have been stolen, you have a legal claim against the parties that misappropriated your valuable confidential information. Consult with an experienced California trade secrets lawyer to discuss your options and ensure that no more harm is done to your business.
Protect Your Trade Secrets With Help from a Seasoned California Intellectual Property Attorney
At Rounds & Sutter, we offer individualized, tailored service to California business owners fielding trade secret issues and pursuing misappropriation claims. We’ll help you review your options and take the steps necessary to protect your confidential information, your finances, and your business network. We’ll help you take the steps necessary to ensure your valuable information is protected as confidential, and we’ll pursue any parties who seek to misappropriate your hard work. We’ll work to secure the optimal resolution for you in a thorough and efficient manner. At Rounds & Sutter, our trade secrets legal team provides sage advice and passionate representation for all your business law needs. Contact our Southern California legal offices in Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Clemente or Westlake Village for a free consultation.