Trade Secret Attorney
Feldmann Nagel Cantafio Margulis Gonnell PLLC handles the full range of intellectual property matters, including trade secrets. With decades of legal experience and an unwavering commitment to our clients, we are prepared to help you and your business develop and implement a plan to help you keep your valuable intellectual property secret from competitors. If your trade secret has been stolen or misappropriated, we can also advise you on your legal options.
Feldmann Nagel Cantafio Margulis Gonnell PLLC can assist you with IP disputes and other business litigation involving:
- Unjust enrichment damages
- Injunctive relief regarding theft of trade secrets
- Misappropriation of trade secrets
- Protection of confidential information
- Duty of loyalty to an employer
- Nondisclosure agreements
- Non-compete agreements
Our goal is to help you proactively safeguard your trade secrets and take swift action to address improper use or disclosure.
The Difference Between a Trade Secret and a Patent
Patents and trade secrets are similar in theory, but a patent legally gives its owner a limited monopoly over their invention. This is typically granted by the government in exchange for a full disclosure of an invention's specs. A trade secret may be a patentable invention, however, the owner might choose to keep the secret of an invention rather than have it publicly patented.
The most well known example of a trade secret is the mystery behind Coca-Cola, whose formula has never been patented and/or disclosed to the public. Taking extraordinary steps Coca-Cola has done everything they can to keep their formula away from competitors.
In the U.S., the patent system comes from the constitutional provision that empowers Congress “to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.”
Patent laws in the U.S. do encourage inventors to disclose their inventions to the public by granting them the exclusive right to make, use, and sell their patent. However, this exclusive right only lasts for approximately 20 years. On the other side of this, trade secrets can technically be kept secret forever. However, the time is contingent on how long the secret is actually kept. In keeping with U.S. Law the first point of acquiring a trade secret is the simple protection of it being kept a secret. If a trade secret gets out then its invention protection ends. So, if you begin to sell your product you essentially make your trade secret “available” and could lose your legal trade secret protection.
While trade secrets are a bit more risky, patent protection protects against the unauthorized making, using, and selling of an invention for the legal amount of time it is protected under the terms of the patent that was given to the owner in exchange for public availability.
Trade secrets can be a vital part of a business’s success. If you suspect that your trade secret has been compromised, do not delay in contacting a member of our team who can help you take swift legal action.