Serious consideration and advice about the protection offered by trade secret law is a core component of the intellectual property services provided by Culhane Meadows. Trade secrets offer a powerful and longer-lasting alternative to patenting, which requires a fully enabling disclosure of the invention in exchange for the exclusive rights conferred by an issued patent. When a client’s core technology can be used without risk of disclosure or reverse-engineering by others, trade secret protection should be considered.
State law governs trade secrets. Our IP attorneys and litigators have experience with trade secret protection, and litigation, in a variety of states. Trade secret protection requires a heightened level of diligence because a trade secret has value because of its secrecy and the owner must make reasonable efforts to maintain that secrecy. Culhane Meadows can help clients develop comprehensive internal programs, together with agreements and external safeguards, to protect a trade secret. Preparing carefully drafted agreements with key employees and consultants is a critical part of a strong trade secret program.
We know that trade secret cases erupt quickly. We are adept at moving rapidly on early injunction hearings that often resolve these cases through court action or fast settlement. Culhane Meadows assembles strong collaborative teams of lawyers who quickly handle investigations and build cases using their deep understanding of our clients’ technology and competitive market environments. Our lawyers are exclusively partner-level attorneys who have litigated a host of cases involving trade secrets, unfair competition, inevitable misappropriation, restrictive covenants, industrial espionage and employee raiding, both on behalf of plaintiffs and defendants.
Our IP attorneys and litigators have helped numerous clients plan for and prevent the misappropriation of trade secrets and related confidential information. As a full-service law firm, our employment attorneys help clients plan and conduct careful and lawful exit interviews for departing employees in a way that protects trade secrets and informs the employee about their legal obligations. Our technology lawyers help clients develop and maintain computer usage policies and agreements that require protection of trade secret material. When necessary, our IP litigators have filed civil actions to seek return of trade secret materials and other remedies for the threatened or actual misappropriation of trade secrets.
Trade Secret Counseling and Litigation Avoidance
Working with inventors, start-up companies and creators of new technologies, Culhane Meadows helps our clients put into place structures and practices designed to minimize the risk of trade secrets claims being asserted against them, and to maximize their abilities to defend against such claims. For example, our partners–
- Work with trade secrets owners to identify their trade secrets and then set up and maintain comprehensive trade secret protection programs.
- Advise clients on avoiding issues with the trade secrets rights of others when developing new products or when hiring from competitors.
- Develop and negotiate confidentiality agreements with employees, partners, suppliers and customers.
- Help clients create physical security measures to protect valuable trade secrets.
Representative Experience of our Attorneys:
- Represented a local manufacturer against a former employee
- Negotiated a settlement that included return of confidential information
- Worked closely with a trade secrets owner to identify its trade secrets and then setup and maintain a comprehensive trade secret protection program
- Developed and negotiated confidentiality agreements with employees, partners, independent contractors, suppliers, and customers
- Represented franchisors and franchisees in post-termination matters including de-branding and return of confidential materials