Trade Secrets

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

What Is a Trade Secret?

We put so much into developing our businesses. We design products, systems, and specialties to help our businesses grow, succeed, and to set ourselves apart from the competition. With so much time and money that is invested into the development and fine tuning of so many aspects of our businesses, it can be very stressful to consider the possibility of our closely held secrets falling into the hands of competitors or potential competitors. Is there protection available out there to guard against this sort of thing? Read more . . .

Monday, September 9, 2019

Non-Disclosure Agreement

Oftentimes, a business has valuable information that is confidential. A business may have a manufacturing process or sales technique that they wish to safeguard and protect from others outside of the company using. These are commonly referred to as “trade secrets.” 

ARead more . . .

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Another Apple Employee Charged with Theft of Trade Secrets

How can I guard against theft of my company’s trade secrets?

Recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested a second Apple employee and accused the employee, who is a Chinese citizen, of attempted theft of trade secrets.  The allegedly stolen information concerned Apple’s autonomous car project.  This FBI investigation comes just months after similar charges were filed against another Apple employee for seeking to steal trade secrets concerning the same project.  Our Read more . . .

Friday, July 6, 2018

Fitbit Employees Charged with Stealing Trade Secrets from Jawbone

What are the penalties for theft of trade secrets?

One current employee and five former employees of Fitbit, Inc. have been charged by U.S. prosecutors for theft of trade secrets. The indictment alleges that the six Fitbit employees received stolen trade secrets when they left their employment at rival company Jawbone.

Read more . . .

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Exploring the Influential Trade Secrets Case of Waymo v. Uber

What does the Defend Trade Secrets Act mean for employers?

The case of Waymo v. Uber was closely followed nationally by technology companies, attorneys, and many others.  While the case ended suddenly in a settlement, it still provided vital insight into the realm of trade secrets law under the new Defend Trade Secrets Act.  Our Read more . . .

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Protecting Your Business’ Trade Secrets

How can I prevent my employees from revealing my trade secrets?

Your trade secrets are often invaluable to the success of your business.  Trade secrets can consist of processes, designs, formulas, practices, or patterns that are not widely known and cannot be easily ascertained.  No matter the size of your business, you likely have valuable trade secrets.  Examples of trade secrets could include customer lists, technological innovations, secret recipes, and supplier lists.  With high employee turnover rates nationwide, it is critical that you as an employer take steps to protect your

Read more . . .

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Businesses React to Proposed Ban of Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements are a hallmark of competitive business practice. Oftentimes, employees learn of valuable trade secrets while on the job, and employers have a keen interest in prevent the dissemination of this proprietary information to their competitors. To accomplish this, employees are often asked to sign non-compete agreements upon hire, which prevent the employee from immediately working at a close competitor within a certain geographic area immediately after quitting or facing termination.
Read more . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2016

No Money for Patent That Becomes a Military Secret

Can the government make you keep your invention a secret without paying you?

When presented with a matter related to patents,it is always advisable to consult with an experienced patent attorney to clarify issues and pursue options. The world of patents can be a strange one, especially if you trespass into the realm of military inventions. This became very clear to Jim Geer when he filed a patent application in 2000 for an innovative technique for tracking stealth aircraft.

Read more . . .

Monday, April 4, 2016

Lawmakers Consider Enhanced Protection of Trade Secrets

What is the status of The Defend Trade Secrets Act?

American companies have been faced with a wave of infiltration by domestic and foreign industrial spies who steal valuable trade secrets and leak them to competitors. Now lawmakers on Capitol Hill are taking steps to enhance the protection of trade secrets. The Senate Judiciary Committee recently voted in favor of The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). The proposed law is designed to fight trade-secret theft by creating a harmonized, uniform, federal standard to protect

Read more . . .

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Trade Secrets At Issue In New Lawsuit Involving Apple

How Can My Business Protect Our Trade Secrets?

Your trade secrets are protected by Texas common law and the state’s Uniform Trade Protection Act and they can be protected by a properly drafted non-disclosure agreement. Those agreements make it clear to an employee what can and cannot be disclosed both during and after the person’s employment. This agreement not to disclose is made in exchange for obtaining or maintaining the person’s job. 

Though there is no guaranty this agreement will not be broken, but if it is, you have legal recourse to enforce the contract and/or seek damages due to its breach. The trade secrets or intellectual property you may want to protect could be sales or marketing plans, employee contact information, customer contact lists, manufacturing processes or product formulas. 

A recent lawsuit filed by Massachusetts company A123 Systems, LLC (which makes lithium-ion batteries) demonstrates some of the issues that can accompany trade secret disputes. It claims that five former employees violated non-disclosure agreements because they either went to work for the computer company Apple, Inc., or planned to do so, and they were going to bring company trade secrets with them, according to Bloomberg. Apple is accused of aggressively hiring their employees, possibly as part of a reported effort to develop an electric car.

A123 became known in 2007 when General Motors Corp. (GM) worked with the company to come up with battery technology that could be used in its electric-plug-in hybrid car the Chevrolet Volt (GM later chose LG Chemical Ltd. to provide the batteries).

A123 is seeking a court order that would prohibit one of its former employees from breaching his employment agreement and prevent Apple from encouraging him to do so. The company also wants the court to order the return of any A123’s confidential documents that the defendants may have in their possession.

Every company has trade secrets that are vital to its ability to stay in business and grow in the future; they are worth taking steps to protect. The Kumar Law Firm in Austin can help you create non-disclosure agreements for your employees so you can protect your business. If you are interested in finding out how you can protect your companies trade secrets, call our business law attorneys today at (512)960-3808.

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