Trade Secrets Litigation
The Internet has drastically altered the nature and scope of trade secrets law. Now, in the age of social media, new forms of intellectual property assets are springing forth. Many of these assets do not necessarily enjoy protection under the umbrella of copyright and trademark. Companies now seek to protect assets such as social media, customer lists and search engine advertising strategies as trade secrets. Often, these trade secrets are stolen or infringed upon by competitors, employees and former business partners. In these circumstances, trade secrets litigation often ensues.
Our legal team represent trade secrets plaintiffs and defendants in California and throughout the United States. We combine our internet law expertise with our knowledge of trade secrets law in order to obtain optimal results for clients in state and federal commercial trade secrets litigation.California Trade Secrets Protection
Trade secrets are afforded protected under various state statutes. In California, trade secrets are protected under the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”), Civil Code sections 3426.1 – 3426.11. Under the Act, virtually any piece of company data could be afforded protection. The most common pieces of trade secrets information include customer lists, internal company protocols, sales data, and product development. In order to receive protection, the trade secrets owner must take reasonable measures to protect the data and that data must have value because of its secrecy. In order to establish a claim, the defendant need not have physical custody of the trade secrets. This is particularly common with regard to trade secrets housed on servers, email accounts or hard drives. Such data can be accessed typically through passwords and various Internet hacking techniques.
Treatment of trade secrets is critical. Quite simply, for a company to enjoy the benefits of the UTSA, it must treat its data as secret by restricting its access and taking measures to secure its secrecy. Failure to properly do so may provide powerful defenses for trade secrets defendants and prevent a court from providing valuable emergency relief in the form of temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions.Trade Secrets Litigation Often Requires Quick Action
If you suspect that an employee has taken your trade secrets or intellectual property, it is often very important to take swift action. That is because it is necessary to prevent the competitive use of company trade secrets while the underlying lawsuit is pending. If a trade secrets plaintiff can show that irreparable harm will be caused through the interim use of the trade secrets, then a court may issue injunctive relief in the form of temporary restraining orders and/or a preliminary injunction. The granting of such relief provides the plaintiff with tremendous settlement leverage and puts an end to the immediate threat of competitive marketplace injury while damages are pursued in the trial court. Our firm has the experience and resources to timely pursue such strategies.Recent Trade Secrets Matters
We have recently served as counsel in a number of internet based trade secrets matters for plaintiffs and defendants. We are able to use our team of experienced commercial litigators to provide effective counsel in complicated internet and technology based lawsuits. Our knowledge enables us to locate and preserve the required technical data evidencing trade secrets violations.
Recent matters include:
- Former employees hacking into company password protected email accounts;
- The theft of vendor and customer lists from secured servers;
- Former employees taking over corporate social media properties and followers;
- The theft of proprietary pay per click and keyword advertising bidding histories;
- The theft of confidential product development plans