Has Your Business Been Damaged by Misused or Stolen Trade Secrets?

California Trade Secret Lawyer Hochfelsen Helps Protect Trade Secrets and Maximizes Financial Compensation

Advances in digital technology mixed with competitive pressure have increased trade secrets risks significantly over the past 10 years. Studies suggest over 70% of companies have been the victim of trade secret misappropriation, with more than 80% of U.S. information theft cases coming from within the company itself.

Stealing trade secrets is as easy as memorizing data, moving files to a flash drive or stuffing sketches in a briefcase. Former employees, competitors, current employees, business partners, third parties, customers or clients are often the culprits.

Today, businesses must work diligently to protect their confidential information. Once trade secrets are stolen, the damage is often already done. If a trade secret is disclosed, companies must act fast to contain the information and fight for their right to compensation.

Unlike patents, trademarks and copyrights, trade secrets have little to no protection once disclosed, and collecting full compensation can be difficult. The defense will attempt to argue:

  • Stolen information wasn’t a trade secret
  • Trade secret was never disclosed
  • Disclosure wasn’t detailed enough to cause any damage
  • Company doesn’t have standing to file a claim
  • Statute of limitations is up
  • California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) preemption

California trade secret lawyer Steve Hochfelsen is renowned for handling some of California’s most complex, high conflict trade secret disputes in federal and state courtrooms. Recognized as a leading authority on California trade secret disputes, Attorney Hochfelsen’s unique approach to trade secret claims, customer list disputes, non-solicitation enforcement and employer rights claims makes him the go-to choice for California, national and global company representation.

Attorney Hochfelsen works closely with businesses and individuals on trade secret law, implementing proactive information protection policies, immediately tackling trade secret threats and minimizing damage. He represents professionals and companies in intellectual property disputes involving:

  • Non-compete agreements
  • Employee duty of loyalty
  • Injunctive relief
  • Trade secret misappropriation
  • Nondisclosure agreements
  • Protecting confidential business information

If you suspect your trade secrets are at risk or want to maximize financial compensation for disclosed trade secrets, we can help. Contact California trade secret litigation lawyer Steve Hochfelsen today at 714-907-0697 or Connect Online.

What is a ‘Trade Secret’ by California Law?

The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) [Cal. Civ. Code §3426] protects the right to control the dissemination of certain confidential business and proprietary information. California courts recognize trade secrets as technical information, company protocols, formulas, software, customer lists, business plans, company finance, sales and marketing data, meeting minutes and other valuable information.

Trade secrets are not generally known and not easily discoverable. Two conditions must be present for trade secret protection to apply:

  1. The company must make reasonable effort to protect the information, and
  2. The information’s secrecy must hold actual or potential economic value

Trade secret misappropriation includes (1) the improper acquisition of information, and (2) the disclosure or use of trade secrets. Improper acquisition may be via theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach of duty to maintain secrecy, inducement to breach a duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage.

The State of California offers protections regarding trade secrets through CUTSA and other state and federal laws, including the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the Defense of Trade Secrets Act of 2016, and the Economic Espionage Act. Employment contract and severance agreement trade secret clauses and non-compete clauses may further protect company information.

If you are concerned about misappropriated trade secrets, Southern California’s trade secret litigation lawyer Steve Hochfelsen’s legal team works diligently to contain the sensitive information, identify the responsible party, and pursue all appropriate legal damages. Contact trade secrets lawyer Steve Hochfelsen today at 714-907-0697 or Connect Online.

How Do You Prove Trade Secret Theft?

Since a former employee can steal a trade secret by merely memorizing it, companies aren’t required to show the physical taking of documents, electronic data or other trade secret formats. Instead, the court requires a company show that the information was improperly disclosed or used.

Under CUTSA, to claim misappropriation of trade secrets, the plaintiff must be able to:

  1. Identify and define the trade secret with reasonable particularity, and
  2. Demonstrate the misappropriation of the trade secret

In defining a trade secret, the individual or company must be able to describe its subject matter in detail. In addition, evidence of unjust enrichment, disclosure or use of the trade secret is required to file a misappropriation claim.

Our legal team works with individuals and companies to define trade secrets and obtain evidence of disclosure or use in cases of stolen proprietary information. For a free, confidential case consultation, contact California trade secrets lawyer Steve Hochfelsen today at 714-907-0697 or Connect Online.

Legal Relief for Trade Secret Misappropriation

Financial loss can easily range in the millions of dollars should a trade secret be disclosed and used by a competitor. Companies focused in areas of innovation, like computers and electronics, semiconductors, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnology, communications, marketing, energy, transportation, and industrial goods and services are most likely to be damaged by trade secret theft.

Under CUTSA, an owner of a trade secret that is used or disclosed without authorization has the right to file a claim for damages, including:

  • Monetary damages for actual loss
  • Monetary damages for unjust enrichment
  • Reasonable royalty payments
  • Injunctive relief
  • Exemplary damages
  • Attorneys’ fees and costs

California trade secrets lawyer Steve Hochfelsen can help you determine whether you have a valid trade secrets misappropriation claim. Should you choose to proceed with a claim, our team of investigators will help gather all necessary evidence required to collect the maximum possible financial compensation. Contact us today for a free, confidential case evaluation. 714-907-0697 or Connect Online.

We Handle All Types of California Trade Secrets Disputes

California trade secret attorney Steve Hochfelsen regularly handles numerous aspects of trade secret risk mitigation and litigation, representing individuals, start-ups, small and midsize companies in claims involving:

  • Computer fraud and abuse
  • CUTSA preemption
  • Cyber espionage
  • Electronic theft
  • Employee duty of loyalty
  • Employee fiduciary duty
  • Foreign trade secret actions
  • Inevitable disclosure
  • Intentional interference with economic advantage
  • International confidentiality enforcement
  • Invention assignments
  • Non-compete agreements
  • Nondisclosure agreement disputes
  • Non-solicitation agreements
  • Preparation to compete
  • Proactive strategies for employee departure
  • Prompt containment of disclosed trade secrets
  • Prospective business advantage interference
  • Source of anonymous online trade secret disclosure
  • Threatened misappropriation
  • Trade secret arbitration
  • Trade secret identification and protection
  • Trade secret misappropriation
  • Unfair competition
  • Unjust enrichment

Orange County trade secret attorney Steve Hochfelsen provides aggressive litigation services to individuals and companies across the state of California who have been injured by the unauthorized disclosure or use of trade secrets. Attorney Hochfelsen also assists clients on how to proactively protect trade secret information. Contact California trade secret lawyer Steve Hochfelsen today at 714-907-0697 or Connect Online.

Tips to Safeguard your Trade Secrets

Whether an individual entrepreneur, start-up or established business, implementing solid policies to protect sensitive information is vital. To protect your future, several steps can be taken to identify trade secrets, mitigate intellectual property risks, and minimize damages.

  • Ensure employees work from secured networks
  • Implement solid policies regarding use of social media, internet privacy, data storage devices and email
  • Limit employee access to sensitive information where possible
  • Regularly update contract clauses, non-solicitation provisions, IP assignment contracts and confidentiality agreements
  • Take precaution when hiring employees coming from competitor companies

If you have been harmed by trade secret misappropriation, you need a hard-hitting attorney who understands how to protect your information and maximize your compensation. With offices located in Newport Beach, Attorney Steve Hochfelsen represents clients in Orange County, Beverly Hills, Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Bernadino, San Jose, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and across the state of California.

Contact California trade secret lawyer Steve Hochfelsen today at 714-907-0697 or Connect Online.