Trade Secret Litigation: Protecting Confidential Business Information

The foundation of every successful business is its confidential information, and it is crucial that companies protect this information at all costs.

Trade Secrets

Trade secrets hold confidential information that gives substantial economic value to a business by giving it a competitive edge. Under federal and state law, companies have statutory protection.

Trade secrets are licensable as intellectual property, but confidential information is typically treated as physical property which can be given and returned. Courts typically look at six factors when adjudicating trade secret status:

  •     The degree to which people outside the business know the protected information
  •     The degree to which employees and others know the protected information
  •     The degree of precautions that are taken to guard the information’s secrecy
  •     What the information is worth to the company and competitors
  •     The amount of money, time, and effort expended to develop said information
  •     The ease or difficulty in which the information could be duplicated by others or lawfully acquired

 These six factors should be used by businesses to evaluate their confidential information when determining the needed level of protection.


One of the biggest issues in trade-secret law is when certain information needs to be recognized as an assumed trade secret “with particularity.” Deciding when the piece of information needs to be identified in litigation is difficult. Must the information be identified prior to filing for the investigation; prior to pre-trial discovery; at the judgment stage; prior to the beginning of the trial; or during post-trial proceedings?

The alleged trade secret, by law, has confidential protections. The holder of the trade secret can not be forced to identify the alleged trade secrets until after there is a protective order of confidentiality in place. Trial courts are mandated to preserve the secrecy of any alleged trade.

When there is a delay in identifying the alleged trade secret until the post-filing of the lawsuit it can lessen the protection of legitimate trade secrets, resulting in wasted money during discovery, and rids of the trade secret owner’s obligation to create internal trade secret asset management systems, that identify, classify, protect and value the assets of the trade secret.

Nondisclosure Agreements (NDAs) How to Prevent Harmful Disclosure

The legal protections for confidential information come from common law and equitable principles that state businesses need secrets in order to stay competitive, and that continued confidentiality is morally essential. NDAs protect every form of proprietary information and can be changed for specific goals, various parties, as well as different state jurisdictions.

Get the Help You Need

If you need assistance minimizing the risk of trade secrets being shared for your business contact one of our experienced attorneys at The Law Office of Ray Garcia P.A.

The following two tabs change content below.

Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A.

Our mission is to provide our clients with legal services that not only meet their needs but exceed their expectations. We approach all practice areas with care, knowledge, experience, and determination. Trusted In South Florida For Decades.

Latest posts by Law Office of Ray Garcia, P.A. (see all)

Skip to content