See how the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) safeguards sensitive corporate information.
The principal alternative to getting a patent is to keep company information as a trade secret. In contrast to the latter, a trade secret is potentially forever protected and does not force you to advertise your creation. Of However, although patents are legally protected and provide you a monopoly on their usage for a lengthy period of time, trade secrets may be discovered by your rivals. In such a circumstance, however, you are not defenseless. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), enacted in 1979, applies to all states except New York, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.
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What Does The UTSA Guard Against?
A trade secret, according to the UTSA, is information: a formula, program, method, technique, or procedure. Since it is not publicly known, it may be leveraged to generate independent economic value (real or future). Simply explained, it is anything that offers you an advantage over the competitors that they are unaware of and that you are keeping secret. The UTSA safeguards such trade secrets from unauthorized use. Misappropriation is defined as gaining a trade secret by unethical methods such as bribery, theft, espionage, or breach of duty. The UTSA, on the other hand, does not safeguard your trade secret if the rival finds it independently, reverse engineers it via non-trivial efforts, licenses it, or receives it legitimately.
How Does the Act Help in Enforcing Secrecy?
In the event that someone else learns about your trade secret via inappropriate methods, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act provides numerous options. You may be able to get an injunction against the person who stole your secret. If a court determines that the loss of your trade secret was caused by willful misappropriation, you may additionally be awarded damages (including both value lost due to misappropriation and unjust enrichment) and repayment of your attorney’s expenses. The UTSA also allows the court to take steps to guarantee that the trade secret stays private, such as sealing documents and limiting the flow of information, in order to preserve confidentiality.