Protecting intellectual property is an important part of both innovation and growth in the business world. Last week's post on the New York City Business and Commercial Law blog outlined one way to protect information, known as trade secrets. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act not only defines a trade secret, but also outlines the essentials to succeed in a trade secret claim.
Often the lesser known intellectual property right, trade secrets, provides protection to manufacturing, industrial or commercial secrets that give a competitive edge to the business. If someone has misappropriated the trade secret, it may be possible to take them to court for violating one's intellectual property right.
In order to succeed, the claimant must be able to show that the subject matter involved in the case is of the type the related law is trying to protect and that is not generally known. In addition to this, it must also be proved that reasonable precautions were taken to protect that trade secret. Lastly, misappropriation on the part of the defendant must be demonstrated-it must be shown that the information was wrongly taken by another.
Once these elements are proven, it may be possible to ask the court for injunction-asking the defendant to stop violating the claimant's rights. It may also be possible to be awarded damages for the economic harm suffered by the claimant due to this violation. If it can be shown that the other party acted maliciously, it may even be possible to receive punitive damages. Lastly, the court may order the defendant to pay attorney's fees if they find they acted willfully or maliciously.
In order to have a successful trade secret claim and receive one of the legal remedies, it is essential to prove all the requirements of the claim. An experienced attorney may be able to guide New York residents through the process and explain the legalities to them.
Source: Digital Media Law Project, "Basics of a Trade Secret Claim," Accessed on Dec. 8, 2015