Even if your work does not qualify for formal intellectual property rights, you may still receive some protection under Florida law. The state has a Trade Secrets Act that protects certain business information and prohibits others from misappropriating them. This statute fills in some of the gaps in intellectual property law for things that may not be protected under federal patent, copyright, or trademark laws. Most states use a similar law, as there is a Uniform Trade Secrets Act that many jurisdictions have adopted.
Anyone with concerns about their business trade secrets should discuss their situation with an intellectual property attorney today.
Florida law defines a trade secret as follows:
The Trade Secrets Act provides for civil remedies against the person who has misappropriated them. In addition, anyone who traffics in impermissibly obtained trade secrets could be subject to criminal penalties. From your standpoint, it is crucial that you both put an end to illegal conduct and receive damages for what you lost when your trade secrets were misappropriated.
In any lawsuit, the key is to show that the trade secrets were actually misappropriated. The law gives a long definition of the word “misappropriated,” but at its core, the term revolves around some sort of improper conduct to obtain trade secrets. Misappropriation can include:
Thus, in the classic situation where a new employer hires an employee who illegally takes trade secrets from their old employer – both the company and the worker could be held responsible.
If someone misappropriated your trade secrets, you could receive the following damages under federal law:
Recognizing the value of protecting trade secrets, Congress passed its own law in 2016 to give businesses their own protection under a federal statute. Thus, you have the option of filing a case in state or federal court.
Here are some of the remedies that you could receive if you successfully prove that someone misappropriated your trade secrets:
You may also be seeking an injunction, where the court orders a stop to certain behavior. A court may issue an injunction if monetary damages alone are insufficient to address the situation.
There are numerous strategic considerations when you believe that someone has misappropriated your trade secrets that include:
The first thing that you need to do is contact an attorney to discuss your case. Your lawyer could help you take firm and quick legal action after discussing the strategic considerations with you. Every business needs an attorney for these cases, especially in light of the fact that the defendant could allege that your secrets would have inevitably been exposed or that you did not take reasonable steps to protect your own trade secrets.
“Our attorneys work hard to build a strategy around each case. We walk into court rooms with a complete plan of action.”
David P. MilianFounding Attorney
Trade secret law is continuously evolving. These cases often involve complex technology and difficult fact patterns, and your lawyer must get to the bottom of both. There may be some cases where the theft of trade secrets is not cut-and-dry, especially when the defendant has taken steps to hide their own tracks. Further, the doctrines among states and federal circuits may be in conflict, even when they use the same general body of law. You need a legal guide to this landscape who will help you fight to defend your own rights.
Milian Legal Group is your go-to lawyer when you need to take quick and firm legal action to defend your business’s intellectual property and trade secrets. We are experienced litigators who can help you take a strong stand when someone else has improperly taken what is yours. Delay can only cost you money and cloud your legal picture. Thus, a quick call to a tough attorney is in your best interests. You can reach out to us online or call us today at (305) 788-6680 to discuss your case.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can assist you with your legal needs (786) 808-9736
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