Ins and Outs of Trade Secrets
ADAM G. RABINOWITZ, ESQUIRE
Moore Rabinowitz Law
1776 North Pine Island Road, Suite 102
Plantation, FL 33322
KFC’s recipe, Google’s algorithms, Apple’s marketing – these are trade secrets envied by competitors. These top companies devised their products with such uniqueness that even their recipes and strategies are synonymous with the term “trade secret”, giving them a competitive advantage. What is the definition of the legal term “trade secrets”? What is Florida’s interpretation of this legal concept? How are trade secrets generally protected? What is the recourse for misappropriation?
The definition of “trade secrets” is found within Chapter 688, Florida Statutes: Information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that: (a) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means
by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and (b) Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. Based upon this definition, the question is: How can trade secrets be protected against misappropriation by departing employees/contractors for use by a competitor?
Chapter 688, Florida Statutes, makes clear that the owner of a trade secret must take reasonable action to maintain their secrecy. This includes, but is not limited to, password protection, confidentiality agreements, and efforts to block downloading and copying. In the digital age, it is increasingly more difficult to protect against the conversion of trade secrets such that vigilance is a necessity. To the extent a party is subject to misappropriation, the law has fashioned remedies.
In the event of misappropriation, a person or company who falls victim to such theft can seek injunctive relief and pursue a claim for actual damages. To the extent you need assistance protecting your trade secrets, we are here to assist you.