Trade Secret Protection and Unfair Competition

Businesses have long recognized the importance and value of company trade secrets, customer lists/data (including pricing, discounts and other incentives), product designs, formulas, process know-how, business information and marketing plans as well as other valuable confidential and/or proprietary business information.

However, today’s increasingly competitive business environment – coupled with a dramatic increase in workforce mobility – has made it all the more critical for businesses to take steps necessary to safeguard such valuable business information from current, departing or former employees who otherwise might seek to use this information to steal customers on behalf of a competitor or to start a competing business for themselves. Likewise, it has become increasingly vital for companies to take steps to safeguard the people who are the foundation or critical component of a company’s success.

Protection For Your Company’s Trade Secrets, Proprietary Information and Employee Ingenuity

At Miller Legal Group, P.C., we advise and assist companies in the development of necessary policies, procedures, documentation and internal controls and protocols designed to prevent unfair competition and misappropriation of trade secrets, knowledge or other assets by current, former, and prospective employees and others.

We also counsel and assist companies in the development and implementation of internal controls and protocols designed to minimize the risk of being sued for misappropriation of trade secrets and other similar claims – claims which can result from the hiring of persons possessing or having knowledge of confidential information and/or trade secrets of their former employers or others.

For example, in addition to other measures, we analyze agreements and obligations to which new hires may be subject, help employers define employment roles and responsibilities, and analyze and implement strategies to enable new hires to be productive and perform the essential job duties of the position for which they were hired. In addition to the foregoing, we also advise and assist companies in the development and implementation of policies and documentation to ensure that their employees and former employees do not employ or otherwise solicit or recruit their co-workers for a competing business.

Among other preventive services we offer clients, we also draft:

  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure of trade secrets and proprietary information agreements
  • Agreements prohibiting the solicitation of customers
  • Assignment of invention agreements
  • Identification of Company work product agreements
  • Non-solicitation of co-worker agreements
  • Acknowledgment of exiting employee of continuing non-disclosure obligations
  • Agreements not to disclose trade secret information of a former employer

In addition, we conduct HR compliance audits of trade secret protection controls and train employees on the policies and protocols designed to safeguard a company’s valuable confidential and/or proprietary business information.

When Preventive Measures Are Not Enough

Of course, preventive measures are only part of the solution.  Sometimes, despite an employers best efforts, additional measures are necessary:

  • To protect a company’s trade secrets and other valuable business information from misappropriation by a former employee or competitor
  • To protect a company from having former employees solicit their former co-workers or having a competitor induce our clients’ former employees to breach their non-solicitation or non-disclosure agreements
  • To defend the interests of a company accused of hiring someone who, in connection with their prior employment, agreed not to use or disclose any of the confidential and/or proprietary information they learned or to which they had access.

At Miller Legal Group, P.C., we understand that there are both business and employment implications to these situations and that, in most instances, both former and new employers want to reach informal resolutions of such disputes. Accordingly, we work with clients to understand both the business and employment implications as well as the desired outcomes and then seek to achieve those outcomes through practical, solution-based and cost effective measures.

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Contact a Los Angeles and Orange County Trade Secret Protection Lawyer

For more information about what we do at Miller Legal Group, P.C., our non-traditional billing arrangements, or to schedule a Litigation Avoidance consultation with an experienced South Bay labor and employment lawyer, please contact us at our El Segundo employment law firm by e-mail or by telephone at (310) 426-2650.