Trade Secret Law Specialist
Trade Secret Law Specialist
Many types of agreement are designed to address trade secret matters, and it is important that your business enterprise seeks guidance and advice on the nuances, rationale and limits of such agreements. Some of the types of agreements at issue are described below.
Restrictive Covenants: Non-compete and non-solicitation agreements can be an important part of the legal landscape for litigants and mobile employees, and each is a common term in today’s employment contracts. We will help you understand the nature of the risks your company is taking when hiring employees from a particular state, and understanding one's rights with respect to departing employees located in different states.
Invention Assignments: Invention assignments are an often-overlooked area of IP litigation and counseling, but such assignments can affect valuable patent, trade secret, and other intellectual property rights. The Burke Law Firm counsels its clients on the appropriate (and enforceable) provisions that may be used in such agreements, and also represents clients in disputes over the scope of invention assignments.
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and State Computer Access Statutes: CFAA litigation has become widespread in recent years, and courts in various jurisdictions do not uniformly interpret the scope and application of the law where employee computer access is at stake. It behooves business entities to stay up-to-date on this ever-developing area of law.
Works for Hire under the Copyright Act. Michael Burke provides proactive counseling and advice and also represents clients in litigation when copyright disputes center on employee authorship and the scope of employment.
Preparations to Compete and Fiduciary Duty: Fiduciary status can transform the risks when employees plan to leave and form a new business, posing important legal questions for employers, departing fiduciaries, and those who hire them. Where fiduciary duty crosses paths with trade secret and intellectual property law, it is important to know what additional duties are imposed on the stakeholder parties.
Nondisclosure Disputes Between Businesses: Not every trade secret dispute involves mobile or departing employees; when business partnerships come to an end and the parties dispute ownership of their work together, litigation usually ensues as each party desires to take with them the intellectual property and trade secrets of the successful business. The Burke Law Firm represents parties in those disputes.
Workforce Training: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the best way to prevent trade misappropriation and misuse claims is through thorough, engaging and well-informed workforce training programs. These preventative measures are effective whether aimed defensively at preventing suits against your company from former employers’ of your staff, or affirmatively by reducing the chance that employees take company information when they leave. Michael Burke can provide in-person employee and workforce training sessions that present key legal principles in a manner that engages your key employees, executives, and department managers in a readily accessible and understandable format.
Investment and Deal Diligence: When investors consider funding a new start-up, when a small company needs to present its best face to venture capitalists, or when companies consider a merger or acquisition, conducting diligence on trade secret issues is often a necessary component. Trade secrets can easily be compromised in such situations, and it is important to identify the risks and educate clients on how to avoid them.