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Court to company: Do more than just say it's a trade secret

Some scenarios keep business principals in New York and elsewhere awake at night. We note one of them on our website at the established Manhattan commercial law firm of Rich Michaelson Magaliff. We cite concerns linked with "having a departing employee become a competitive threat and use knowledge of the business's trade secrets against it."

That is a harrowing prospect. And when it actually plays out, the resulting harm it causes is often catastrophic. Competitive advantage can be lost. Proprietary pricing formulae can be compromised. Technological processes can be leaked.

Company principals obviously want to sidestep such outcomes. And many of them routinely do so by consulting with a proven commercial legal team that routinely protects diverse clients across a wide spectrum of business risks.

Failure to do that can yield a stark downside, as was heavily underscored in a recent article addressing trade secret claims and the safeguarding of proprietary information.

The bottom line from a case referenced in that piece was succinctly delivered by a federal judge. It was clearly instructive for all company decision makers with oversight of internal data deemed vitally important to business success.

It is this: If you want to prevail on a trade secrets claim, do more than talk. That is, go beyond merely proclaiming that allegedly infringed data is legally protected by offering evidence to reasonably establish that processes and protocols were carefully put into place to safeguard key information.

The judge in the above-cited case spotlighted multiple security measures that companies can take to instill confidence in courts that what they seek to protect is truly valued. Those include the execution of key contracts like noncompete and confidentiality agreements, the crafting of company handbooks and training materials, instituted controls over access to sensitive data and additional measures.

Rich Michaelson Magaliff attorneys have a demonstrated history of advocacy helping diverse clients fully promote their objectives concerning valued intellectual property. We welcome contacts to the firm to discuss the work we do in this important legal area.

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