Protecting Trade Secrets in Florida
Protecting trade secrets in Florida is essential to maintaining a businesses advantage over competitors; but, protecting trade secrets can be difficult.
Examples of Trade Secrets
Trade secrets are valuable pieces of information for businesses, such as formulas or techniques, that are not generally known and cannot be easily discovered by competitors. They are specific to a company – usually developed after years of trial and error, much research, and a lot of man hours. Processes and techniques like algorithms, code, customer data, and design secrets are all common examples of trade secrets.
Pursuant to Florida’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, to qualify as a trade secret, the business must take steps to keep the information secret and must derive economic value from it, otherwise the information doesn’t meet the threshold of the law.
Protecting Your Trade Secrets in Florida
A key element of the definition of trade secrets in Florida is whether they have been adequately protected. The most effective way to protect trade secrets is to limit access to only essential parties. However, when your employees must know trade secrets, there are ways to protect them and ensure they do not end up in the hands of your competition.
Non-Disclosure Agreements, and/or Clauses in Employment Contracts
Employees can be required to sign non-disclosure agreements, either independently or as a part of their employment agreement, to protect your trade secrets. While this might not prevent improper theft, this paperwork would ensure you have a case if your business suffers damage due to the misappropriation of protected trade secrets.
Severance Agreements and Non-Competition Agreements
In addition to including non-disclosure agreements in onboarding paperwork, severance agreements should contain non-competition clauses preventing employees from seeking employment with your direct competition.
Connect with a Trade Secrets Lawyer
To discuss whether your trade secrets in Florida are adequately protected or if you believe your trade secret has been misappropriated, contact the attorneys at Purcell, Flanagan, Hay & Greene.