One of the lesser-known forms of intellectual property protection is trade secrets, which generally protect proprietary business information. Unlike other forms of intellectual property protection like patents, trademarks, and copyrights, trade secrets derive their value from their secrecy. Trade secret owners do not have to register them with any regulatory body, such as the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While often overlooked as a business asset, trade secrets can be enormously valuable for companies that hold them, and our Birmingham trade secret lawyer helps our clients give them the attention they deserve.
What Is a Trade Secret? Our Birmingham Trade Secret Lawyer Explains
Generally, a trade secret is any information that confers a competitive advantage by virtue of being unknown by others. The realm of trade secrets encompasses many types of information that could potentially give a company a competitive advantage, including:
- Computer code
- Manufacturing processes
- Business plans
- Customer lists
- Designs and blueprints
- Research and development results
- Marketing plans
- Employee training materials
No matter what industry you are in or what information you have, our experienced Birmingham trade secret lawyer can help you identify potentially valuable trade secrets.
Maintaining Secrecy Is Key to Protecting Trade Secrets
One of the critical requirements necessary to demonstrate the existence of a trade secret is that the information was the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. Merely calling certain information a “trade secret” does not make it a trade secret; instead, the information holder must take affirmative steps to protect the information from disclosure. Our Birmingham trade secret attorneys have extensive experience crafting and implementing holistic trade secret protection strategies for our clients to implement in their day-to-day operations. While every business is different, these strategies typically involve the use of nondisclosure agreements, employee onboarding and offboarding protocols, and data privacy policies, among others.
A Birmingham Trade Secret Lawyer Will Fight Against Trade Secret Misappropriation
Loss of trade secrets can cause serious financial hardship for a business because trade secrets lose a significant amount (sometimes all) of their value once they are disclosed to third parties. Such disclosure can sometimes be inadvertent, but it is often the result of misappropriation. Under Alabama law, trade secret misappropriation generally occurs when a person discloses or uses a trade secret by obtaining it through improper means or by a breach of confidence. This could occur, for example, when a departing employee takes his former employer’s trade secrets to his new employer. However, trade secret owners who are harmed by misappropriation may seek damages in both state and federal court, and our intellectual property litigation attorneys have significant experience helping our clients assert their trade secret rights.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Birmingham Trade Secret Lawyer
A comprehensive trade secret protection plan is essential to prevent misappropriation and maintain the value of your trade secrets. To get started on building a trade secret strategy that works for you, please contact a trade secret lawyer at the Birmingham office of AdamsIP by calling 251-289-9787 or using our online contact form.
505 20th St N Suite 1215
Birmingham, AL 35203