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What You Should Know about Unfair Competition and Trade Secrets

Businesses have a number of secrets that help them beat the competition. It is vital for certain Orange County businesses to develop and protect their trade secrets. When these secrets are shared or maliciously leaked, it can have a devastating financial impact on the company and its employees. Therefore, it is crucial for all employees to understand what a trade secret is and what type of consequences will result from releasing private information.

A trade secret is something of value that is privately used and developed by a company for business but not publicly shared. Businesses that have trade secrets are responsible for protecting them. Trade secrets are not registered like a trademark or patent and they are not disclosed publically. Trade secret litigation, therefore, typically involves showing what steps were taken by a business to protect their secrets.

If a competitor discovers a trade secret, it could have devastating financial results. Finding a unique and useful product in a competitive environment is challenging. So having other companies figure out how you make your product can have immediate consequences. If your business uncovers non-authorized use of your trade secrets, you may need to speak to an Orange County business attorney right away.

Alternatively, if you or your business has been wrongfully accused of stealing trade secrets, you may need a lawyer to allow you to stay in business. You will have to uncover weaknesses in the plaintiffs’ allegations to protect your business.

One way that trade secrets get out is through former employees. This is why many companies require employees to sign non-compete agreements. However, California disfavors these types of agreements and they do not always hold up in court. Non-compete litigation can get messy, so it is important to have a trade secret attorney present throughout the proceedings who can protect the best interests of the company.