Do you have a trade secret?

| Jul 12, 2021 | Business Law |

If your business in Georgia has a trade secret, a leak could threaten your entire company. Fortunately, federal laws offer protection for trade secrets under certain conditions. It’s important to establish that your idea or method is a trade secret in the first place–if you don’t, you might not have any legal ground to stand on.

What is a trade secret?

In business litigation terms, a trade secret is information that makes your business unique, profitable or valuable. For example, if your food has a secret recipe that no one else knows about, you could consider that a trade secret. This could also apply to patterns, technology, methods and formulas. Your business could suffer if someone leaked this information and other companies adopted your methods.

A trade secret can’t be anything that you have to make public. For example, copyrights and trademarks are public records. Copyright could protect your assets, but it won’t make them trade secrets. Your secrets must be hidden from everyone except select people in the company to qualify.

To protect this information, you’ll need to establish that it’s a trade secret. This means making a reasonable effort to keep the information safe from other companies. If you don’t, you can’t claim that it’s a trade secret when it gets stolen. Keep this knowledge limited to as few people as possible, and guard your secret with legal documents like non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

What if someone leaks your trade secret?

You might be able to file a lawsuit if someone steals or leaks your trade secret. First, you might want to establish an injunction that prevents the offender from causing further damage. Afterward, you could sue the offender for damages like lost profits and attorney fees. You could take further action if you had an NDA in place.