Trade secrets can be among a business’s most valuable assets. But too many businesses fail to properly think through how to protect them. The most common problems include: the failure to consistently enforce trade secret rights; and (on the opposite end of the spectrum), the tendency to call everything as a trade secret whether it is or not. These businesses often run to court to seek a temporary restraining order, only to find themselves fighting an uphill battle.
On the flip side, businesses often fail to do their due diligence before hiring a new employee. As a result, they find themselves in the middle of a trade secret dispute with the former employer.
Preventing, prosecuting and defending trade secrets litigation involves knowledge of the applicable statutes, such as the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, the Illinois Trade Secrets Act (modeled on the Uniform Trade Secrets Act), and the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1984. It also requires attention to unintended consequences of such claims, such as the preemptive effect of a trade secrets claim on other causes of action.
If a trade secrets claim is asserted in the context of expedited proceedings (such as those seeking a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction), then preparation and quick reactions are key. Often, parties prepare for the TRO hearing, without planning for the expedited discovery and preliminary injunction hearing that follows.
ASG Law can help businesses both prevent and litigate trade secrets disputes.