Identification of Trade Secrets

The identification of trade secrets is an important and early step in nearly every trade secret case. Many states (California, in particular) require that trade secrets be identified with “reasonable particularity.” A plaintiff who fails to adequately identify trade secrets may seriously damage its case. Similarly, a defendant who fails to persuade the court to require a specific identification may be at a serious disadvantage. By engaging technical consultants early in the case, you can assure that a thorough and extensive identification of the trade secrets has been made before commencing discovery.

What We Do
  • Properly identify trade secrets that meet the necessary criteria (e.g., are “not readily ascertainable” and are the subject of “reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy”).
  • Establish technical data and provide expert witness testimony to back up trade secret identifications.
  • Ensure that trade secret identifications aren’t excessively narrow or improperly limited.

What We Know
  • How the “reasonable particularity” standard applies to software and source code
  • Proper identification of “combination trade secrets”
  • Crafting a well-worded interrogatory or discovery request that demands a totally precise identification
  • Diodes Inc. v. Franzen

Preliminary Injunctive Relief

Although laws vary across jurisdictions, most states provide for injunctive relief in the case of actual, threatened, or inevitable misappropriation. However, a departed employee’s knowledge of trade secrets is not sufficient to warrant enjoining work by the employee or the sale of a product.

Quandary Peak has expert witnesses with extensive experience assisting in trade secret litigation.

What We Do
  • Determine the proper basis on which to seek a preliminary injunction.
  • Assist in deciding whether to seek a temporary restraining order (TRO).
  • Establish or refute claims of irreparable harm.
  • Provide solid evidence while meeting the clients budget, from large to small.

What We Know
  • Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA)
  • Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition and Restatement (First) of Torts
  • State-specific trade secret laws
  • Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly

Trade Secret Misappropriation

The fierce competition and blazing pace of innovation in the software sector make trade secrets of utmost importance. Employers need clear policies and vigilant enforcement to ensure their property isn’t used against them in the marketplace. At the same time, employees have the right to use skills and general knowledge gained as a result of employment with a competitor. Employees today move jobs with increasing frequency and don’t always know what constitutes a trade secret. These factors result in frequent confusion and conflict over who has the rights to developed work product and know-how.

What We Do
  • Assist plaintiffs in identifying and protecting their trade secrets.
  • Help protect defendants against overreach and fishing expeditions by former employers or partners.
  • Rely on authoritative sources that support a given technical position.
  • Assist clients in analyzing reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy.

What We Know
  • Necessary criteria for standards like “readily ascertainable”
  • California’s trade secret laws
  • Spoilation of evidence
  • Patentable trade secrets
  • Public domain elements and general knowledge

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