It has become significant for startups and businesses to protect their trade secrets. However, what exactly it means?
A trade secret is the information about the business that will give a potential benefit to the person or corporation. It is the information that one cannot know or access easily through others. From confidential data, methods to commercial details it could be anything.
Besides, any data or the work created by someone that will gain profit and a competitive place in the market is also called the trade secret.
There many things included in the trade secret:
If you are confused enough whether it is trade secret or not then here are four questions you need to ask yourself.
- How important is the information outside the candidate’s business?
- How much popular it is amongst the employees and within the company?
- What does information hold value to the business and the competitors?
- How much money can one expect from the information? Is it possible to expand business in future?
How can one protect trade secrets?
One can protect the trade secrets under the Uniforms and Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) developed in the late 1970’s. A legal framework was provided in protecting the trade secrets.
The UTSA is currently applicable in 40 states but valid through the US.
What are the legal ways once the trade secret is damaged?
Once it has been shown that the trade secrets are used in misappropriate manner then there are two ways:
- Payment of Money
- A Court Order
The act of injunction is the court orders forcing someone immediately stop using the trade secrets.
There are several types of the monetary payments that the court awards including the person who stole the trade secret have to pay:
- For the loss caused to the owner
- Besides, if there are any benefits that are gained due to the leakage of the trade secret, then they have to pay all the profit along with royalties to the owner.
iii. If the court finds out that, the trade secret that has been used turns out to be malicious in misappropriation, then double amounts need to be paid.