Trade Secrets

A trade secret is information, not generally known, nor readily ascertainable, that has a commercial value or provides a business with a competitive economic advantage. Types of trade secrets include formulas (such as the recipe for Coca-Cola), compilations (such as customer lists), and methods or processes (such as manufacturing methods or marketing plans). Often, such proprietary information cannot be effectively protected through patent, copyright and/or trademark protection; the information would become public knowledge and the business advantage lost. The business owner must methodically limit access to the proprietary information and otherwise identify and protect the information for the courts to afford legal trade secret protection. This type of proprietary information may be contractually protected through non-disclosure (confidentiality) agreements and non-compete agreements. Trade secret misappropriation occurs when the trade secret information is acquired, disclosed or used without the owner’s permission. Trade secret protection is governed by the Restatement of Torts, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act and the Restatement of Unfair Competition, and related state laws. Future disclosure and use can be prevented through injunctive relief granted in trade secret misappropriation and/or breach of contract litigation. Damages can include both the actual loss caused by misappropriation and the unjust enrichment caused by misappropriation that is not taken into account in computing actual loss.

Lee Anne LeBlanc has succeeded in establishing clients’ rights to trade secret protection and obtaining legal relief following misappropriation. She also brings experience to the drafting of Non-Disclosure Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements and Non-Compete Agreements.

Practice Areas

Trade Secrets
Internet Law