Trade Secrets

The precise language by which a trade secret is defined varies by jurisdiction (as do the particular types of information that are subject to trade secret protection). However, there are three factors that, although subject to differing interpretations, are common to all such definitions: a trade secret is information that:

  • Is not generally known to the public;
  • Confers some sort of economic benefit on its holder (where this benefit must derive specifically from its not being publicly known, not just from the value of the information itself);
  • Is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.

The Rapacke Law Group offers full service work for issues regarding trade secrets. Our firm can help advise clients on the best means by which to protect its intellectual property whether by concealing the information as a trade secret or registering it as a patent. Because a trade secret can exist perpetually until and unless the information is no longer secret, it is necessary to have the trustworthy and discreet help that RLG can provide in preparing agreements for the sale and purchase or licensing of trade secrets. RLG can help clients establish precautionary measures to protect the veracity of the trade secret once established to be kept or though the process of its transfer and licensing. In the event a trade secret is stolen, misappropriated, or otherwise compromised, RLG is prepared to pursue all available remedies including trade secret litigation and penalties in both civil and criminal courts where necessary, although negotiation may be sufficient in many cases.

On April 20, 2016 the House Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the DTSA (S. 1890) which would create a private cause of action in federal courts for trade secret owners to sue misappropriators. The DTSA would establish this new private right by adding a subsection entitled “private civil actions” to the provision of the EEA that would allow an owner of a trade secret that is misappropriated to bring a civil action if the trade secret is related to a product or service used in, or intended to be used in, interstate or foreign commerce.