In the post-covid scenario, protecting a trade secret and maintaining it out of the reach of competitors may be crucial to the survival of a company. Considering the importance of these intangible assets, the best approach is to hire a trade secret attorney to ensure a trade secret’s security.
In this article, you will find out why you need a trade secret attorney to help you in Florida.
What is a Trade Secret? – An Overview
Before explaining the importance of a trade secret attorney, it is fundamental to explain what a trade secret is and why it is crucial to protect it.
As provided by Florida Statutes §688.002(4), the term “trade secret” may refer to information (i.e., formula, pattern, recipe, compilation, program, method, technique, device, or process) that:
“Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use”
Additionally, it must be “subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.”
The federal Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) provides that a trade secret is defined by three core elements – the information must be secret and confer its owner a competitive business advantage while requiring reasonable efforts to keep its secrecy.
At the state level, the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act (FUTSA) governs trade secret law, providing the remedies associated with trade secret misappropriation, the statute of limitations for trade secrets claims, and the Act’s legal effect on other laws.
Trade Secret Attorney in Florida – Seeking Justice in Court
Both legislation at the state and federal level have provisions that prohibit the misappropriation of trade secrets.
Florida Statutes §688.002 explains the term “misappropriation” as the “acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means.”
In this context, the term “improper means” includes – but is not limited to – theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach, or inducement of a breach of a duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage through electronic (Fla. Sta. §688.002 (1)).
Yet, a plaintiff with a trade secret claim in court must prove the actual occurrence of a misappropriation, providing feasible evidence of the facts. Plus, the petition must use precise language to demonstrate that the defendant’s acts were done willfully or maliciously.
An expert trade secret attorney in Florida will help by:
- Identifying a company’s trade secrets
- Assessing whether an intangible asset needs legal protection
- Identify and classify documents that contain protected information
- Monitor where information is stored
- Provide insights to increase data security (e.g., computer security, TI security)
- Tailor strategies to maintain secrecy from external personnel (e.g., contractors, freelancers, vendors, etc.)
- Provide insights regarding employee training and business policies
Still, if there is a case of misappropriation, a Florida trade secret attorney will use her knowledge and experience to fight and secure the best interest of clients.
As provided by Florida law, possible remedies for trade secret misappropriation include injunction relief, monetary damages, and attorneys’ fees. However, a plaintiff must win in court to attain any of these benefits, which requires the guidance of an expert in Florida trade secret law.
Waste no Time with Uncertainty – Work with an Expert Trade Secret Attorney in Florida
Either you are preventing trade secret misappropriation or fighting it in court, the best approach is to seek guidance from an expert trade secret attorney in Florida.