Man ripping paper


David H. Schwartz Dec. 30, 2019

You’ve probably heard the phrase “trade secret” before, maybe when someone is talking about the Coca-Cola secret formula or KFC’s famous chicken breading. But what benefits can a trade secret bring to a company’s intellectual property, and what should you do if you have been accused of sharing top-secret information to your employer’s competitors? Regardless of what side you’re on, commercial litigation attorney David H. Schwartz  has the resources you need to give you the best possible outcome for your case.

What is a Trade Secret?

A trade secret is a form of intellectual property that protects any device, idea, process, or formula that a company uses as a way to set themselves apart from the competition. Contrary to popular belief, trade secrets can be more than just a secret recipe. If a business has a unique way to manufacture a product, a marketing campaign strategy for next season, or even computer algorithms, a trade secret would be needed to protect others from disclosing that information to competitors.

It is important to keep these things from competitors so they don’t catch on and steal your customers. In fact, trade secrets are becoming more popular as new laws have been passed and competition becomes more aggressive. The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 is a federal law that allows the owner of a trade secret to sue in federal court when that trade secret has been breached. Since this law was put into place, the number of trade secrets cases filed has increased by 30% in the United States.

How Will Establishing a Trade Secret Help Your Business?

As an experienced business litigation attorney, David H. Schwartz has helped employers and employees alike with their trade secret issues. If you own a business in the San Francisco Bay Area and are looking to protect what matters most, turn to David to set you up with a variety of different options. Implementing a trade secret differs from other forms of intellectual property because you don’t need to file or apply for one. Instead, he will help you design contracts for your employees such as non-disclosure agreements and non-compete forms.

Implementing these for your company will make it more difficult for your “secret formula” to leak because your employees will be legally required to keep that information confidential. If your employee breaks this contract, then you may press charges and have a chance to receive compensation for potential loss of revenue. No matter what you you need an attorney for, David will provide effective representation to keep your business on the path in which it was intended.

What Are the Consequences of Breaking an Non-Disclosure Agreement?

If you have been accused of releasing confidential information to your employer’s (or previous employer’s) competition, it is within their rights to take legal action and pursue a lawsuit. Luckily, because your Non-Disclosure Agreement, or NDA  — as opposed to a trademark or copyright — is a civil contract, so you will not be charged with a crime. However, your employer may require you to pay them a large sum of money to make up for future economic suffering as a result of the leaked information.

The problem with Non-Disclosure Agreements is the fact that the contracts you sign are not always clear in what they want to protect. David H. Schwartz has helped countless employees in San Jose, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda County, and Oakland defend themselves against the allegations of their employers. He provides his clients with efficient, thorough, and customized guidance to help their case.

Don’t let the other side get away with whatever they want, call today to schedule your first consultation at his office conveniently located in the heart of San Francisco at Battery and Washington.