Under the Kansas Uniform Trade Secrets Act, or KUTSA, it protects companies from the disclosure by others of valuable business information known as "trade secrets". When a trade secret is "misappropriated", this refers to when another individual obtains a company's trade secrets by improper means, such as through stealing a corporate formula or other type of protected business information. A misappropriation of a trade secret also occurs when a person divulges sensitive corporate information to others or uses it without the permission of its rightful owner. This typically arises when an individual takes a position with one of their former employer's business competitors and decides to disclose their trade secrets. Regardless of the situation, KUTSA provides certain relief for corporations that have been aggrieved in this regard.
Specifically, KUTSA allows business owners to sue for injunctive relief in the event that one or more of their trade secrets have been or will be misappropriated. In other words, this means that a business can legally prevent another company from stealing their trade secrets or continuing to use them in the event they were already taken. Additionally, companies can also seek monetary damages against wrongdoers to cover their actual business losses and unjust enrichment caused by the misappropriation. Without proof of actual loss and unjust enrichment, a business may still be able to recover a reasonable royalty amount. In the event that the trade secret misappropriation was malicious and willful, a court may award a company twice the amount of the aforementioned type of damages.
As mentioned above, the misappropriation of trade secrets is not limited to simply preventing others from improperly obtaining valuable corporate information. Specifically, the current and continual usage of trade secrets also constitutes a wrongful misappropriation under KUSTA. When a company is facing this type of situation, they are not required to demonstrate to the court that they wrongdoer gained an advantage by using their trade secrets. All that must be shown is the "use" of the information with actual or constructive knowledge that it is a trade secret.
Notwithstanding, business plaintiffs must demonstrate that they took certain measures to maintain the secrecy of the information at issue. In other words, a corporation cannot avail itself of the remedies under KUTSA if it did little to nothing to protect its corporate information. There are numerous protective measures that businesses can take, such as having employees sign confidentiality agreements when hired and marking written information as "secret" or "confidential". Keep in mind that if a company accidentally discloses its trade secrets, there unfortunately is no recourse under KUTSA.
For more information on the above, it is crucial to contact a qualified Kansas trade secrets attorney in order to fully protect your company's trade secrets. Only an experienced attorney can assist your business in determining the proper methods by which you can protect your trade secrets and other valuable information. For over two decades, I have been providing practical yet aggressive legal representation for clients facing all types of business issues, including trademark infringements and the misappropriation of trade secrets. I invite you to call my office now to schedule free consultation at 913-498-1911.
Tags: Kansas Business lawyer
This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 26th, 2012 at 10:06 am and is filed under Trade Secrets. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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