The phrase “theft of trade secrets” conjures mental images of international espionage and a suave, globe-trotting spy. Of course, as the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has warned, economic espionage is a real threat to large corporations, costing the American economy billions annually and even placing our national security at risk. However, theft of trade secrets is a menace with serious consequences for small businesses too.
Your trade secrets are any formulas, practices, processes, designs, instruments, patterns of commercial methods or compilation of information that aren’t generally known or reasonable obtainable by others and that your business utilizes for a competitive edge. Examples could be anything from the secret ingredient of your grandmother’s pasta sauce recipe used by your restaurant to the customer databases your real estate company has complied over the years. Some trade secrets are eligible for patent protection, but not all. Intellectual property attorneys in Orlando can help you identify and protect those trade secrets, and take action when they are stolen or at risk.
In many cases, small business trade secrets are taken by those we once trusted, such as former employees. That was exactly what allegedly happened in a case recently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Continue Reading