Oct 01, 2018 Keeping Your Company’s Trade Secrets Secret
An important aspect of doing business in a competitive environment has always been keeping a company’s trade secrets secret. This is not always easy to do given the transitory nature of employees coming and going in and out of a company. As a result, most companies are left with ensuring those secrets are kept secret.
The law can help a company keep its information secret. But a company must take affirmative steps, as well. This and other factors will go work in a company’s favor if a complaint over trade secrets is ever in front of a judge.
Important Factors: Is it a Trade Secret?
One of the first things a company must do is identify whether the information it wishes to keep secret can qualify as a trade secret. Some obvious examples of this kind of information includes client lists, company goals, contract details, and others. It is always important to first identify the information you wish to keep secret.
Important Factors: What Steps are Being Taken to Protect the Information ?
Another important factor in trade secret law is the actions a company takes to keep its secrets secret. This is important because it shows a judge that a company takes its information security seriously. These steps will include distribution of information, protection clauses in contracts, secure servers, and more. It will always be important that company has a plan to protect its information.
How is the Information Taken?
If your company faces a situation in which an ex-employee is using company secrets, it will be important to show how the employee came by the information. Was it stolen, not returned when requested, or protected by contract as proprietary? These and other questions will lead a judge to determine whether protections will be extended to a company.
If your company is at risk of losing, or has lost, its secret information, there are steps it can take. First, a lawsuit may need to be filed to protect that information and prevent its further dissemination. Often this kind of a case will involve a request for preliminary relief such as an injunction. These requests have heightened standards that courts will not routinely grant.
Beyond suing, a company should have the right plan and procedures in place. The right legal professionals can lead a company in the right direction and counsel a company on what steps it must take to protect its information, and if needed, prevent abuse of its loss. The wrong legal preparation can lead to losses in the courts.
Your California Corporate Law Firm
At the Royse Law Firm our team of corporate legal professionals has every tool your company must protect its information. We can advise your company on the steps it must take to preserve all its rights. We can also file suit to prevent the further loss associated with a breach of confidential information. Contact us today.
Supreme Court Revises Labor Laws
In a recent decision that will have implications nationwide, the U.S. Supreme Court revised how labor unions will operate going forward. The decision was a lightning rod for all sides of the conversation, and led to a decades-old opinion being overturned by the Supreme Court. The case, Janus v. AFSCME, challenged a public-sector union’s ability to collect dues from unwilling employees.
This case goes back to the 1970s when the Supreme Court decided a case known as Abood. There, some local government employees had a portions of their paycheck withheld as dues to the union which represented them. Those employees argued that because unions largely engage in political speech, they could not be required to support that speech with their money.
At the time the Supreme Court sided with the public sector unions. The Court held that because the employees benefited from the work that unions did, the members had to pay the dues. The Court reasoned it was fair for unions to collect from everybody.
Typically, there is a legal doctrine known as stare decisis which requires a court to leave a prior decision unchanged, unless there is a new, compelling reason to change it. In the climate we now live, that doctrine is not as it once was. Since the turn of the 20th century, we have seen an increase in old opinions overturned for many reasons.
New Rules, New Environment
With each new case comes the possibility for entirely new rules being promulgated, and that happened in Janus. The Court in Janus decided that it violated public-sector employees’ First Amendment rights to be forced to pay for speech with which they did not agree. The ruling overturns many years of opposing precedent.
The new rules will require public-sector unions to change how they operate and collect dues, and even how they set their budgets. It will also have an impact on lawsuits. There are many employees now suing their unions for violation of their First Amendment rights based on the decision in Janus. Some legal experts are predicting that they may have a valid case. So, not only will dues be reduced, but many unions may be facing costly litigation.
These new rules may also extend to the private sector, though not necessarily. The important thing for companies to understand is the importance of having the right legal team to guide you through the changes.
Your California Labor Law Group
At The Royse Law Firm we have a group of talented legal professionals dedicated to the practice of labor and employment laws. Whether your company is facing an employment challenge, labor difficulty, or anything in between, we can help you. Contact us today for a case evaluation.Disclaimer: This blog and website are public sources of general information concerning our firm and its lawyers, as well as the information presented. They are intended, but not promised or guaranteed, to be correct, complete, and up-to-date as of the date posted. This blog and website are not intended to be, and are not, sources of legal opinion or advice. The materials, information, and communications on this blog and website do not apply to any particular person, entity, or situation, and do not apply to you or to your specific situation. You will need to consult with an attorney and/or other appropriate professional about your specific situation. Thank you.