If a piece of business information is not public and is being actively protected due to its inherited economic value, it might be a trade secret. In this article, you will have an overview of Florida’s trade secret laws. 

Florida Uniform Trade Secret Act – The Fundamentals  

Enacted in 1979, the Uniform Trade Secret Act (UTSA) was promulgated by the Uniform Law Commission for nationwide adoption. In 1988, Florida was one of the many US states that adopted the UTSA with slight modifications. 

Before UTSA, each state had its own legislature governing trade secrets. Created to set a clear national legal standard for trade secret law at the federal and state levels, UTSA also contributed to the enhancement of trade secret protection. 

Florida Statutes Chapter 688 encompasses the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act, providing the statutory regulations for trade secrets within state jurisdiction. 

What is a Trade Secret in Florida? – As Provided by Law 

Florida Statutes §688.002 (4) defines trade secrets as “information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, 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, and 
  • Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy” 

As the statutory definition of the term “trade secret” is not clear, establishing whether certain information can be identified as a trade secret requires appropriate legal grounds and detailed analysis in court. Several types of business information may classify as trade secrets, such as: 

  • Formulas 
  • Plans 
  • Designs 
  • Patterns 
  • Supplier lists 
  • Customer lists 
  • Financial data 
  • Personnel information 
  • Technical devices 
  • Processes  
  • Software 

Trade Secret Misappropriation in Florida – As Provided by Law  

As described by Florida Statutes §688.002 (2), trade secret misappropriation refers to 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, or 
  • Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret; or at the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that her or his knowledge of the trade secret was: 
  1. Derived from or through a person who had utilized improper means to acquire it 
  2. Acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use 
  3. Derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use, or 
  4. Before a material change of her or his position, knew or had reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been acquired by accident or mistake” 

Considering the statutory definition of trade secret misappropriation is significantly broad, consulting with an experienced Florida attorney is fundamental to determine whether a trade secret was misappropriated. 

Trade Secret Laws in Florida – Contact Attorney Romy B. Jurado Today 

Waste no time with uncertainty – immediately contact Attorney Romy B. Jurado by calling (305) 921-0976 or emailing [email protected] for expert legal guidance.