If you have a special, secretive practice or strategy that helps your business remain competitive in the marketplace, then you likely have a trade secret. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) formally defines a trade secret as any type of information, such as a pattern, formula, or technique, that creates some type of economic value by remaining secret from competitors. Of course, a company must make active efforts to keep a trade secret from being spread to others, or else it cannot be considered a true secret. Every business with a trade secret must not only take extreme care to legitimately protect that trade secret, but also needs to be aware of the steps to take in the case of trade secret misappropriation.
Ensure Your Trade Secret Is Official
To begin, seek the advice of your business attorney in Tampa to double check that your actions are deliberately upholding your trade secret status based upon the UTSA definition. Your trade secret information can’t be easily obtained by your competition, and it must give you a competitive advantage when it remains a secret. It’s also important that you can outline the efforts you take to keep your trade secret from becoming public knowledge. This might include keeping original documents in a locked security box or only letting two executives in on the secret at once, like Coca Cola does.
Be Prepared For Misappropriation
Unfortunately, trade secrets do not always remain secret. When a person or party reveals a company’s trade secret, trade secret misappropriation has occurred. IP litigation attorneys can assist with concerns or problems when this occurs. It is common for other companies to use industrial espionage or other unlawful tactics to uncover trade secrets, but theft, bribery, and breach of confidential agreements are also known to occur. If your business has been a victim of misappropriation, it is critical that you seek legal support immediately in order to prepare your case, to prove that you took all necessary precautions to keep your trade secret out of the wrong hands.