Your trade secrets are some of the most important intellectual properties your business owns. Because the information is not known by the public, such as secret food recipe, you have a competitive advantage over similar businesses.

Federal and Florida law defines trade secrets as those containing information with intrinsic economic value that the company makes a reasonable effort to conceal from the public. If you are accused of pilfering trade secrets from an employer or represent a business seeking damages after your information was compromised, a Boca Raton trade secrets lawyer offers the proper guidance.

Types of Trade Secrets

As long as trade secrets are not evident to the public and are a vehicle to create an economic advantage over competitors, they can take many forms. These include:

  • Plans, patterns, and designs
  • Formulas and recipes
  • Production processes
  • A particular method or practice that benefits the company

When a trade secret is released to the public, discovered independently, or works its way into general knowledge, legal protections no longer apply.

Trade secrets, sometimes referred to as confidential information, are often generated by a company’s research and development department, giving key employees access to classified information. One way to protect information is to require employees to execute non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), however a similar document, the non-compete agreement, was banned by the Federal Trade Commission in 2024. For competent representation when trade secrets have been misappropriated or a business is accused of it, contact a Boca Raton trade secrets attorney now.

Proving Misappropriation Took Place

The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (Title 18, Part I, Chapter 90 of the U.S. Code), The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, and The Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act protect a party’s trade secrets from misappropriations. Section 688.002 of the Florida Act defines misappropriation as a theft or disclosure without consent, knowing the acquisition was improper and a duty of secrecy was expected. If a lawsuit is filed, the plaintiff must also show the trade secrets were reasonably protected and valuable. Determining trade secret status is “heavily fact-specific” according to Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals opinion in All Pro Sports Camp, Inc. v. Walt Disney Co., 727 So. 2d 363, 368 (Fla. 5th DCA 1999).

Damages for Loss of Trade Secrets

When a company litigates over loss of its trade secrets, an attorney will show the jury how the client suffered damages. Under Florida Statutes Chapter 688, a damages award is available for the actual cost to the company for a misappropriation. This involves revenue lost minus the cost saved from not producing what lost customers would have purchased. A Florida federal district court also ruled in 2008 that disgorgement of the ill-gotten gains is an appropriate remedy. Injunctions are also issued if the plaintiff can prove irreparable harm.

Exemplary damages, which are more subjective, can also be awarded above what the plaintiff has proved, if the defendant acted with wanton disregard of others when misappropriating trade secrets. A Boca Raton trade secrets attorney can guide any actions to recover losses a business suffers.

Work With a Boca Raton Trade Secrets Attorney to Protect Your Most Valuable Assets

Your secret sauce, design, or method is what makes you unique among your competitors, and if someone, like an employee, misappropriates it, or if you are accused of doing so when you did not, you need legal guidance.

Our Boca Raton trade secrets lawyers dedicate our practice to resolving intellectual property issues and we can issue cease-and-desist letters or take the person to court to pursue damages. When we win, our clients are entitled to attorney’s fees, injunctive relief, and monetary damages for losses. Call the Lomnitzer Law Firm for a consultation today.