Though often overlooked, information may be controlled and protected under the rubric of Trade Secret Law. Trade secret is recognized, to varying extents, in all 50 States though state and federal regulations, and can be a highly effective means of protecting valuable information that may not qualify for other intellectual property protections.
As with the other intellectual property protections, there are requirements to attain trade secret protection. For instance, the information to be protected must be kept secret and not generally known to the public. As with most things, this is easier said than done. Absolute secrecy would render the information secret from persons who may need the information for legitimate purposes, while allowing access to the information may destroy its trade secret protections.
In addition, unlike other intellectual property protections, a trade secret need not be filed with, examined by, or issued by a government or other authority. Thus, a holder of valuable information must independently achieve trade secret protection.
Weide & Miller regularly counsels clients on the types of information and circumstances for which trade secret protection is well suited, and the practices and policies that should be implemented to ensure valuable information qualifies for trade secret protection should the need arise. This includes advice regarding baseline practices, such as confidentiality agreements with third parties, physical or technological controls on use of information within an organization, and the performance of periodic audits of trade secret information.
Weide & Miller understands the need to control valuable information once it has been released or used without authorization. Weide & Miller also offers litigation services to enforce trade secret protections, and has successfully litigated a number of actions seeking to enforce a client’s trade secret protections.