A company’s success is closely tied to its ability to protect its intellectual property and trade secrets. That’s why it’s critical to work with a legal partner with extensive experience in this highly specialized area.
Trade secret litigation involves a company’s or individual’s most confidential technical, financial, or business information, which the company or individual considers its “trade secrets.” For example, the formula for Coca-Cola has been protected as a trade secret for over 100 years. Trade secret cases often involve a former employee who takes his or her former employer’s proprietary information and discloses it to his or her new employer, which is frequently a competitor. Or the case may involve two companies to a joint venture who exchange trade secrets under non-disclosure agreements, and one company later decides to go on its own while using the other company’s confidential information. In today’s digital age, trade secrets are increasingly stolen by malicious hacking into a competitor’s network infrastructure.
The biggest challenge for trade secret owners often is maintaining the secrecy of the trade secret. Once sensitive financial or business information is publicly disclosed, its value as a trade secret may be worthless. No amount of damages from a successful lawsuit may ever remedy the loss. For this reason, when trade secret theft is suspected, the owner must act expeditiously to obtain a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunctive relief to prevent the trade secret from being further exposed. Where the trade secret is kept electronically, The Rapacke Law Group often requests the Court appoint a forensic examiner to investigate the extent of the theft. A swift preliminary investigation can form the basis to then request the Court to take action to seize or thwart any further dissemination.
For an accused misappropriator, or for an employer who is alleged to have hired an accused misappropriator, engaging a forensic expert and commissioning a thorough internal investigation may prove critical to gathering evidence and establishing defenses. In addition to potential civil liability, criminal exposure is a serious risk under federal statutes such as the Economic Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Mounting a robust defense on both civil and criminal fronts simultaneously requires experienced counsel with a strategic eye toward favorable resolution.
Once in litigation, the case often centers on whether the alleged trade secrets actually qualify for protection, whether they were misappropriated, and whether the trade secret owner suffered damages from any misappropriation. To qualify for protection, trade secret owners must prove that they took reasonable steps to protect the confidentiality of their trade secrets, such as requiring non-disclosure agreements for anyone who works with the trade secrets, and limiting the distribution of the trade secrets to the smallest group necessary. Trade secret cases frequently involve expert witnesses, who testify on issues ranging from whether the proprietary information is a trade secret to whether a trade secret was stolen by unauthorized use of a computer to the value of trade secrets and damages for their theft.
"The Rapacke Law Group brings to the table an unparalleled ability to understand the issues that are subject to expert opinion."
Combining our depth of technical knowledge and our unique ability to make the complex understandable, The Rapacke Law Group has unparalleled expertise in managing, conducting and winning trade secret cases.
"I hired The Rapacke Law Group to help protect my card game invention with a copyright and trademark. Andrew's team was wonderful in answering all my questions and get my invention protected. I highly recommend working with Andrew, and we definitely will be using him with my next invention. He provided excellent advising in the lead up to producing my prototype and assisted be reviewing all of my paperwork before filing for formation of my LLC. His expedient and thoroughly efficient approach has directly contributed to the foundation of my thriving new business."
"Andrew is a great intellectual property attorney. He's very transparent on price and was very thorough with the provisional patent. He made all the changes I asked for before we filed the patent and he runs a truly fixed fee intellectual property law firm. Other lawyers want to nickel and dime you for every change you make, which can be extremely difficult to pay for inventors just starting out or on a budget. He was easily accessible as well. If he missed my call, I would get a call back within an hour or two. It was a great experience overall and if you are looking for an intellectual property attorney I would highly reccomend you look no further than The Rapacke Law Group."
"Andrew introduced himself to me at a Toy Fair in Chicago. We talked briefly about some projects that I was working on the time, but I already had representation. Andrew offered to give me some advise on a pending patent. I was impressed with his knowledge of the patent process. I hired him to help me with an office action on that same patent. I also hired Andrew to help me put together a Licensing Agreement. I feel that Andrew does a very good job of looking at the agreement from both sides of the fence. He has good judgment and wants to guide you, so that your expectations are realistic."
"I hired Andrew to assist my company with a patent infringement and non provisional patent filing. Andrew is very knowledgeable and easy to work with, and his pricing is very transparent and straightforward which I like. He was also very accessible which I needed during a critical time for my company. I'd definitely recommend and will hire again!"
"Andrew helped our company to apply for a Trademark registration and a Patent. He is always available to answer any questions without charging extra fees for phone conversations or emails. We are very satisfied with the services his firm provided and would definitely recommend Andrew. Thank you!"