ANDERSEN PLLC Andersen PLLCAttorneys

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Did your trade secret end up in the wrong hands?

Protecting intellectual property is vitally important for any business. Imagine that your research and development team has created an innovative computer program that you expect will make sales soar, but you suspect a former employee has pirated it.

The individual under suspicion denies any wrongdoing, but the company he now works for has just announced a new computer program that mirrors yours. Can you take action?

The confidentiality agreement

When the suspected trade secret thief joined your company three years ago, you found him to be smart, quick, eager to learn and an overall good addition to the IT department. Like every other employee, he signed a confidentiality agreement that obligated him not to share company trade secrets, such as the new computer program your R&D people developed.

Level of offense

You have told the individual’s new employer that you intend to seek legal means in pursuing your belief that the employee has stolen your computer program. The theft of intellectual property can be prosecuted as a federal offense, but if both sides are willing, you can also resolve it as a civil matter.

A reputation at stake

You believe you have taken the appropriate steps to protect your intellectual property. The confidentiality agreement that your company requires every employee to sign ensures that any ideas or inventions developed during an employee’s tenure are the property of your company.

If someone steals a trade secret, such as your new computer program, you have the right to take action against that person and possibly another party. For example, you may want to negotiate with the employee’s new company in order to resolve the matter with as little fuss as possible. Your attorney can advise you on the proper path to resolution. When intellectual property turns up in the wrong hands, the integrity and reputation of your company are at the heart of the need to resolve the issue.


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