Unfortunately for those facing such a criminal charge, the theft of trade secrets is often prosecuted sharply under state and federal laws. Trade secrets, which are pieces of information, such as formulas, processes, inventions, and more, that give companies an advantage over competitors or are essential to their success, are often protect by legally binding agreements that companies make employees sign. As such, people charged with stealing trade secrets can face harsh penalties, especially if facing charges under the Economic Espionage Act of 1996.
Anyone in Appleton who is facing a trade secrets theft charge may be feeling frightened and anxious about their future, something which our lawyers at Hart Powell, S.C. understand and can sympathize with. However, with a strong legal defense, you may be able to feel more assured when fighting against a charge of trade secrets theft.
What Are Trade Secrets?
Trade secrets are pieces of information with that have actual or potential economic value due to their secrecy from the public that are reasonably protected by a business or organization. This definition of reasonable protection, which is crucial in defining information as specifically a trade secret, includes the following measures on a secret-holder’s behalf:
- The number of people or employees who knew the secret was very limited
- The secret was physically guarded
- Documents directly referring to the secret were not widely distributed
- Employees were notified of the secretive nature of their work and warned accordingly of the information’s trade secret status
- Vendors weren’t provided with full information about a product or service, leaving essential details to be solely protected by the providing company or organization
If the defendant can illustrate that the secret wasn’t being protected sufficiently or that the secret had no value in being withheld from the public, he or she may be able to prove that no real industrial theft occurred. However, doing this can be difficult and require the legal support of a knowledgeable attorney.
Contact a Trade Secrets Lawyer in Appleton
If you or someone you love has been arrested on grounds of trade secret theft, a lawyer at Hart Powell, S.C. can work with you to mount a powerful criminal defense case against this charge. Feel assured that you are being defended by a skilled and experienced lawyer when you enlist the services of our legal team by calling (414) 271-9595.