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TRADE SECRETS

We proactively safeguard your assets, help you maintain your competitive edge, and keep your competitors from gaining access to your most valuable trade secrets.

Our approach

The federal government is increasingly cracking down on trade secret theft and companies are more concerned than ever about protecting their trade secret assets. But, despite the fact that trade secret protection is crucial to the success of any business, many lag behind when it comes to developing comprehensive policies, processes, and written agreements to protect their most valuable trade secrets.

We understand that your trade secrets are likely not sitting in a vault or on a balance sheet—but in the cloud, on thumb drives, on remote hard drives and international servers, and in your employees’ heads. And, in the hands of a competitor, your trade secrets can provide a devastatingly powerful competitive advantage.

We know that trade secrets are more than just an “IP issue” or an “employment matter.” And, unlike other firms, we take a 360-degree approach to safeguarding your trade secrets. We understand what’s at risk. And we know how to protect it!

Our Trade Secrets team is made up of the top strategic thinkers in the country with extensive capabilities in dealing with all aspects of trade secret identification, classification, protection, and valuation. And we’ve got global experience protecting trade secrets through preventive efforts and litigation.

Who we work with

  • Individual entrepreneurs
  • Early, mid, and advanced stage organizations
  • Life Sciences, software, and other high-tech companies
  • Manufacturers from a wide variety of industries
  • Consumer products companies

Representative engagements

  • Trial counsel for a defendant in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit involving the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets relating to emergency airstrip lighting systems.
  • Trial counsel for defendants in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit involving acoustic echo cancellation technology.
  • Trial counsel for a beverage can company in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit involving ultrasonic technology for sealing beverage cans.
  • Trial counsel for the manufacturer of plastic films, nonwovens, and laminates for personal care, packaging, and specialty markets in a trade secret misappropriation case involving proprietary elastic films and laminate technologies.
  • Trial counsel for an international company involving proprietary technology relating to zinc extraction technologies.
  • Counsel for medical device manufacturer in action to enjoin former employee group’s use of stolen trade secrets, including customer lists and business plans.
  • Counsel for medical device manufacturer to prevent the marketing of competing products and to recover damages based on theft of trade secrets, including source code used in key product and based on theft of ideas and research developed for new products, including patentable claims.
  • Special counsel for a major company in an economic espionage investigation.
  • Counsel for a restaurant chain in a lawsuit involving the alleged misappropriation of recipes and knowhow by former employees.
  • Counsel for a precision cutting tools manufacturer in a trade secret misappropriation lawsuit involving proprietary manufacturing equipment and manufacturing processes.
  • Counsel for staffing firm on trade secret matter involving the firm’s customer list.
  • Counsel for entrepreneurs accused by former employers for basing the new enterprises on trade secrets from their previous firms.
  • Advisor for many companies on trade secret asset management programs—trade secret audits, policies, and other protective measures.
  • Counsel to an international oil and gas trading firm. We defended a claim for theft of trade secrets and employee raiding.
  • Counsel to a technology company as a plaintiff in a major employee raiding case involving a single facility and the use of customer lists by a major competitor.
  • Counsel to a major insurance brokerage where a former employee had taken the electronically stored database of customer information.
  • Counsel to semiconductor equipment manufacturer in action to prevent former employee’s use of trade secrets, including customer information and business opportunities, to lure business, and to recover for theft of trade secrets, including technical formulae for design and production of products. The case also involved defense of cross-claims by former employee for defamation (arising from alleged publication of facts of employee’s trade secret theft), interference with prospective business advantage, and breach of contract and application of statutory privilege to such claims.

Media Clips

  • Trade Secrets Spats Center on Cloud
    The Recorder | September 20, 2013
    San Francisco Brands & Creations partner Rob Weikert comments on how trade secrets matters are being impacted by growing use of online data storage.
  • Lawyers See IP Protection Help in U.S. Trade-Secrets Focus
    Reuters | February 22, 2013

    Chicago Intellectual Property Litigation partner Mark Halligan discusses efforts to combat trade-secret theft.

  • Legal Focus: Trade Secrets and Confidential Information
    Lawyer Monthly Magazine | January 1, 2012
    This featured Q&A profiles Chicago intellectual property litigation partner Mark Halligan and focuses on the issues surrounding trade secrets and confidential information. For the complete article, please click here.
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  • Federal Bill Pits Creative Industries against the Internet in Piracy Fight
    Chicago Daily Law Bulletin | November 29, 2011

    This article discusses the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOAP) which is being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives and would give owners of intellectual property the power to quickly shut down "rogue websites" pirating their goods. Chicago intellectual property litigation and trade secrets partner Mark Halligan provides commentary.

Ideas

Webinar Recording: Seven Things You Need To Know Now About The Continually Shifting IP Landscape
Originally recorded July 10, 2014 | July 11, 2014

The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 (S. 2267)
Trade Secrets Alert | May 20, 2014

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Webinar Recording: Trade Secrets Trends Impacting the Insurance Industry
Originally recorded March 18, 2014 | March 24, 2014

Webinar Recording: Trade Secrets Trends Impacting the Insurance Industry
Originally recorded March 18, 2014 | March 21, 2014

Texas enacts Uniform Trade Secrets Act effective September 1, 2013
Trade Secrets Alert | July 25, 2013

The Foreign and Economic Espionage Penalty Enhancement Act: the need for trade secret audits
Trade Secrets Alert | February 20, 2013

The Theft of Trade Secrets Clarification Act of 2012
Trade Secrets Alert | February 12, 2013

3D printing: new "disruptive technology" raises serious intellectual property questions
Intellectual Property Alert | December 3, 2012

Webinar Recording: Marketing Your Products and Services Without Losing Your IP
Originally recorded June 14, 2012 | June 19, 2012

Webinar Recording: Trade Secret Protection in the Baseball Analytics Field
Originally recorded April 9, 2012 | April 11, 2012

Employer's social media profile and "friends" list can be trade secrets under Colorado law
Employment Law Alert | March 21, 2012

California Court of Appeal weighs in on trade secrets protection for insurance companies in unpublished decision
Insurance Law Alert | February 28, 2012

Webinar Recording: Trade Secrets: Your Secret Weapon Under Patent Reform
October 13, 2011

New Legislation Introduced to Establish Federal Cause of Action for Trade Secrets Theft
Trade Secrets Alert | October 11, 2011

Trade secret assets: prior user rights expanded under the America Invents Act
Trade Secrets Alert | September 15, 2011

. . . Hide Thought Leadership. . .

Events

Protecting Trade Secrets, Confidential Business Information and Goodwill in the Information Age
October 2, 2014 | Rochester, NY

Webinar: Seven Things You Need To Know Now About The Continually Shifting IP Landscape
July 10, 2014

IP Rights: Protect technology and build value for your company
May 6, 2014 | Jericho, NY

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Trade Secrets