More and more, information assets are what define a company's competitive value. Relying on patents, copyrights and trademarks to safeguard their positions in the marketplace is key, but those protections have limits. In many fast-moving markets, businesses have come to rely more on confidentiality to protect the value of their innovations. These are known as "trade secrets" and encompass confidential business information, product designs, manufacturing techniques and strategic information like client lists and pricing strategies.
At Gearhart, we protect our clients and their trade secrets to ensure their competitive advantage is not lost, stolen or deliberately taken, for instance through a malicious system attack, when an employee leaves for a competitor, or when a supplier misuses valuable technology obtained under a confidentiality agreement. Under the recently passed Defend Trade Secrets Act, businesses—for the first time—are allowed to file claims under federal law against those who misappropriate their confidential information. Until now, trade secrets have been regulated by state laws, which differed from state to state. With the passage of the new law, we can assist businesses in designing policies to conform to a single nationwide standard.