Trade Secret Misappropriation
Florida Litigation Attorneys for Trade Secret Infringement Matters
Trade secrets are among many successful companies’ most valuable assets. Florida has adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which provides protections for formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, processes and other forms of information that (i) derive independent economic value from not being readily available to the public, and (ii) are subject to reasonable efforts to maintain their secrecy. When a competitor, former employee or other third party gains access to a company’s trade secrets, the trade secret owner will usually need to act swiftly in order to mitigate the damage and ensure future protectability.
Searcy Denney is a litigation law firm that represents parties on both sides of trade secret misappropriation claims in Florida. In addition to claims under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, trade secret cases will often involve breach-of-contract claims and other commercial claims as well, and in many cases companies will face litigation involving trade secrets and other forms of intellectual property. Our attorneys have decades of experience successfully representing clients in complex state and federal litigation, and we are fully-prepared to take all action necessary to protect our clients’ assets and enforce their legal rights.
Preliminary and Final Relief for Trade Secret Misappropriation
Under Florida’s Uniform Trade Secret Act, plaintiffs can seek several different remedies for misappropriation. These remedies are in addition to any remedies provided by contract or available under other applicable laws:
- Preservation of Secrecy – The Uniform Trade Secrets Act calls for Florida courts to, “preserve the secrecy of an alleged trade secret by reasonable means, which may include granting protective orders in connection with discovery proceedings, holding in camera hearings, sealing the records of the action, and ordering any person involved in the litigation not to disclose an alleged trade secret without prior court approval.”
- Preliminary Injunctive Relief – Preliminary injunctive relief prevents unlawful use of protected trade secrets while litigation is pending.
- Final Injunctive Relief – If the trial court finds misappropriation, it can order the defendant to abstain from any, “[a]ctual or threatened misappropriation.”
- Monetary Damages – In addition to injunctive relief, trade secret owners can claim monetary damages for both actual losses and the defendant’s unjust enrichment. Exemplary damages may also be available.
- Attorneys’ Fees – The Uniform Trade Secrets Act’s attorneys’ fees provision applies to willful and malicious misappropriation as well as misappropriation claims asserted in bad faith.
Statute of Limitations Under Florida’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act
Generally speaking, in Florida, trade secret owners have three years to file claims for misappropriation. The statute of limitations runs from the time that, “the misappropriation is discovered or by the exercise of reasonable diligence should have been discovered.” However, for several reasons, it will almost always be in a trade secret owner’s best interests to take aggressive legal action as soon as possible.
Speak with a Florida Intellectual Property Litigation Attorney at Searcy Denney
If you would like to speak with a litigation attorney about your trade secret misappropriation claim, contact our offices in Tallahassee or West Palm Beach, FL. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call (800) 780-8607 or tell us about your situation online now.