Find Lawyers in Chicago, Illinois for Trade Secrets Law
Practice Area Overview
Trade secrets include, but are not limited to, formulas, developmental processes, product designs, customer lists, and marketing data. A trade secret (1) derives economic value, actual or potential, because it is not generally known and cannot be readily ascertained by proper means by persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use and (2) is the subject of efforts to maintain its secrecy that are reasonable under the circumstances. While patents can protect an invention for a certain period of time, trade secrets can last as long as they are protected.
Trade secrets are the frequent target of appropriation by improper means, such as theft, bribery, misrepresentation, espionage, or breach or inducement of a breach of duty to maintain secrecy.
Attorneys provide both counseling on the identification and protection of proprietary information and litigation services in instances of alleged misappropriation of proprietary information.
Attorneys assist in the development and implementation of trade secret protection plans. These invariably include the use of non-disclosure agreements signed by company executives and employees. Strong plans also rely on written policies that help employees identify and protect a company’s trade secrets, demonstrate management’s commitment to that objective, and provide notice to third parties that certain information is claimed as trade secrets. Plan implementation is especially important as courts emphasize strong, genuine efforts over boilerplate forms and unenforced policy statements.
Trade secret and unfair competition claims are prosecuted and defended in various courtrooms and arbitration forums throughout the United States and internationally. A thorough understanding of proprietary information, including manufacturing methods, algorithms, process equipment, and software is essential to the development and execution of a litigation strategy that successfully advances client objectives.
While trade secret law has developed from state common law, regulation is now standard and addresses both civil and criminal liability. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) codified and harmonized standards and remedies for commercial claims. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have adopted its framework. On the other hand, the federal Economic Espionage Act of 1996 criminalized the theft of trade secrets related to national security and for commercial purposes.
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Steve Feldman is the head of Hahn Loeser’s Intellectual Property Practice Area, the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Chicago office and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. His practice encompasses complex intellectual property litigation, prosecution, licensing, and counseling involving patents, trade secrets, trademarks and unfair competition, copyrights, data privacy and security, and NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) compliance, policies, and rights. Steve also regula...
Mark is a partner at FisherBroyles, LLP. He is an accomplished trial lawyer who focuses his practice on intellectual property litigation in the United States and abroad. Mark is recoginzed worldwide as a leading practitioner in the development of automated trade secret asset management blockchain systems. Mark is co-author of Trade Secret Asset Management 2018: A Guide to Information Asset Management including RICO and Blockchain. Mark has taught Advanced Trade Secrets Law in the LLM program ...
Michael Hartmann is active in all phases of intellectual property law with an emphasis in intellectual property litigation and technology protection and transfer in the United States and internationally. He has acted as lead trial counsel in jury and bench trials, International Trade Commission investigations, and related pre-trial and appellate proceedings in diverse technical fields. These include software, telecommunications, machine vision and semiconductor manufacturing, oil field drilli...
With a reputation for having an in-depth understanding of his client’s businesses and their technologies, Darrick Hooker is a counselor and a litigator who routinely advises clients on a variety of intellectual property issues, with a focus on patents. He also helps protect clients’ trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights and has a thriving commercial litigation and entertainment law practice. Darrick strives to help his clients identify and manage their global IP assets. He is ...
Sherry L. Rollo counsels clients in all areas of intellectual property, including the protection, licensing, and enforcement of intellectual property rights, data privacy, and data security both domestically and internationally. Sherry also guides clients with corporate strategies relating to the prosecution, merger, licensing, sale, or acquisition of intellectual property assets, including conducting due diligence, counseling on business strategies, and managing patent, trademark, copyright,...
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