Trade Secret Litigation

A trade secret is a piece of information that has value because it not generally known by other people and because reasonable efforts have been made to maintain its secrecy. The trade secret can be a formula, pattern compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process used in your business, which gives you an advantage over your competitors who do not know it. Unlike other intellectual property, trade secret information does not need to be unique or novel, only secret. Litigation in this area arises most often when a company’s trade secret is misappropriated and unlawfully disclosed by the company’s employee (former employee) or business partner. While California law generally prohibits non-competition provisions in contracts, non-competitions that are designed to protect a company’s trade secrets are generally enforceable. In fact, a company can seek to stop the misappropriation of its trade secrets even in the absence of a contract.