Trade Secret Attorney Los Angeles California
Looking for the right Trade Secret Attorney in Los Angeles, California?
Axis Legal Counsel’s Trade Secret Practice is designed to provide clients in California with reliable trade secret advice in disputes throughout Los Angeles and California.
Trade secrets are the lifeblood of the competitive company. A trade secret can consist of a variety of different types of information that is protectible under California’s trade secret law. If your company has had its trade secrets stolen, lifted, misappropriated, duplicated, or otherwise used for anti-competitive business practices, it is imperative to have a trade secret attorney retained to handle your companies to trade secret claims.
Axis Legal Counsel represents trade secret plaintiffs in a variety of trade secret disputes in the Los Angeles area and throughout Southern California. If you are seeking a trade secret attorney in Los Angeles, contact Axis Legal Counsel today for additional information . Call us today for free consultation, and receive valuable information about protecting your company’s trade secrets from disclosure to outside parties. AXIS regularly counsels a variety of businesses and startups with respect to their legal rights in trade secret misappropriation and theft cases. Contact us today at 213-403-0130 for a risk-free and no-charge free consultation.
Business Litigation Practice Areas
- Business Torts
- Competitive Business Practices
- Copyright Infringement
- Copyright Litigation
- Intellectual Property
- Trademark Infringement
- International IP
- IP Licensing
- IP Disputes
- IP Litigation
- TTAB Litigation
- Trade Secret Litigation
- Unfair Competition
What Is A Trade Secret?
A trade secret is the term used to define information that is protectable under California trade secret law. It can include a variety of pieces of information, including business plans, suppliers, customer lists, even the purchasing habits and sales data for clients, customers, and leads. Trade secrets can also consist of business proprietary information, financial information, technical specifications, know-how, financial records, ledgers, salary information, project data, business plans, marketing prospects, and numerous other types of information.
California Trade Secret Law
California law protects trade secrets through state law. In California, a company’s trade secrets are protected under Civil Code sections 3426.1, which constitute California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
Protecting Trade Secrets
To receive the benefit of California’s trade secret laws, it is important that the company be able to establish that it took steps to protect its trade secrets. For example, the company must have proof that it took steps and made efforts to restrict the access to the data in question. Practically, this means that the trade secret was known to a very few amount of people, not widely known among the company, not accessible through public resources, and generally not available to ordinary level employees. The amount of protection that a trade secret has by the company is material in determining the company’s rights to prevent that trade secret from being used by competitor for solicitation, competition, or other business practices.
Getting an Injunction or Temporary Restraining Order for Trade Secret Theft
If your company’s trade secrets have been misappropriated by third-party, timing is extremely crucial. One of the top litigation strategies and protecting a trade secret plaintiffs business proprietary and confidential information is in seeking injunctive relief. Injunctive relief refers to relief from the court that bars a defendant from doing or not doing something. In the trade secret context, getting a restraining order or preliminary injunction can bar the perpetrator from continuing to misuse the company’s data without the company’s permission or consent. Successfully seeking a Temporary Restraining Order or preliminary injunction can make a big difference in terms of the litigation. Once injunctive relief has been obtained, it usually causes a huge disruption to the competitors’ prospects and can often result in a quick resolution to the plaintiff’s claims. Accordingly, it is a strategy that is used quite often in trade secret cases. Axis Legal Counsel regularly counsels clients in seeking injunctive relief and leveraging the immediacy of the type of relief afforded by the court to and the anti-competitive activities being undertaken by the perpetrator. If it can be proven that there is a likelihood of success and a threat of irreparable relief being suffered by the company, seeking a temporary restraining order or injunctive relief is an excellent tool in the arsenal for the company.
Common Trade Secrets Scenarios
Trade secret cases can take many forms and shapes, but there are a number of scenarios that occur often and regularly in trade secret disputes between a company and its former or departing employee, independent contractor or other business competitor:
- A departing employee taking business proprietary information with them shortly before they leave the company to set up reform a competing company
- The removal, accessing, or misappropriation of vendor lists from the company’s computer systems
- The taking, removal, or duplication of the company’s company lists or prospect lists from its computer systems
- Disputes over the ownership of leads and sales prospects
- The duplication or theft of business development materials, including pricing models, supply lists, supply information, vendor information, or other know-how
- The taking of proprietary processes, software, technical information, plans, specifications, blueprints, or other information developed at the company for the companies use
Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreements
Oftentimes, preventing a dispute concerning a company’s trade secrets begins with crafting a proper confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement that an employee or independent contractor is required to sign. A solid confidentiality agreement will address issues of soliciting the company’s employees, soliciting vendors, soliciting customers, and the confidentiality of the company’s trade secrets or other confidential business information. Many times, companies use form documents that are found on the Internet that are a poor substitute for a properly prepared confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement. This can prove to be a costly mistake. Axis Legal Counsel has a plethora of experience with confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement issues, and our experience allows us to help identify susceptibilities in your current documents that you may not have been aware of.
Non-Compete Invalidity in California
As many businesses already know, in California is difficult to enforce a noncompetition agreement. But noncompetition and nonsolicitation are two very different things. There is no rule against competing with the business in California, however a competitor, former employee, or former contractors not allowed to solicit companies clients or customers or attempt to poach its employees.
Bringing a Legal Action for Trade Secret Misappropriation
If you are thinking about bring a legal action for trade secret misappropriation, there are certain elements that will have to be met. Generally, the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act will require trade secret plaintiff to show that the subject they are claiming is a trade secret falls under the protection of the Act. The owner of the trade secret will also have to prove that reasonable precautions were taken to prevent disclosure of the trade secrets being asserted. Finally, the owner of the trade secret must also demonstrate that the trade secrets were acquired by the perpetrator using unlawful means. In this respect, if a perpetrator can show that the item in question was not really trade secret, and that the information was accessible through outside sources or other sources, the trade secret dispute may not be successful. For this reason, it is important to consult with an attorney who regularly handles trade secret matters to ensure that there is enough there for the matter to be viable and for an initial legal action to be brought.
Statute of Limitations for Trade Secret Claims
In California, the statute of limitations for a trade secret action is generally three years. The lawsuit must be brought within three years of the date that the misappropriation of the trade secret was discovered by the business owner or could have been through the exercise of ordinarily diligent investigation. This is called the discovery rule: if the owner of the trade secret could’ve discovered that the trade secret was misappropriated through ordinary and diligent investigation, the statute of limitations will begin running.
Getting Legal Advice
Getting legal advice for trade secret matter does not have to cost a fortune. Axis Legal Counsel understands the cost-effectiveness is a key point for business owners and trade secret matters. Most business plaintiffs who retain our services are surprised at how affordable and cost-effective pursuing their legal claims can be.
If you are seeking advice on a potential trade secret matter, contact us today at 213-403-0310. Call us for free consultation and as little as 15 minutes, you can get peace of mind asked to an overview of your legal rights with respect to the trade secret matter affecting your business.