Client-Focused. Knowledgeable. Respected.

Remedies for stolen trade secrets

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Intellectual Property |

Intellectual property is an important part of running a successful business in Connecticut. Trade secrets are often what puts one company ahead of its competition. When someone steals those secrets, the financial implications can be damaging, not only immediately, but also long-term. Protecting trade secrets can be challenging, especially when it’s so easy to share information through digital means. If your business has experienced stolen trade secrets, you must do what you can to recover your damages.

Penalties for trade secret theft

Most businesses have policies in place to protect trade secrets, but these policies don’t always work. When someone steals trade secrets or, as in some cases, threatens to steal them, you can take legal action against the individual or entity involved. You may seek injunctive relief, which gives the owner of the trade secret a court order that forbids the person or entity from using that intellectual property.

If you believe that someone has compromised your trade secrets, you can seek damages based on your losses. The court may order an injunction after you’ve already suffered damages, which will end the misappropriation of your intellectual property and allow you to provide evidence to show your actual losses. In some cases, it’s difficult to show actual losses accurately, so the court may order you to receive a royalty based on profits from the use of your information by the person or entity who’s using it without your authorization.

Other matters related to trade secret theft

The theft of trade secrets can lead to different outcomes based on the circumstances under which one stole and used them. In some cases, a simple injunction is enough to stop the use of your intellectual information when you haven’t yet suffered any financial damages. The court often awards exemplary damages when it believes that the misuse of intellectual property was malicious.

In most cases, punitive damages will not exceed twice the amount of the damages awarded. In cases where malicious intent was involved, the court may order the other party to pay your attorney’s fees and other expenses. The court may also award attorney’s fees and expenses related to filing a lawsuit in cases of bad faith.

Seek legal advice

Proving damages relating to intellectual property, and trade secrets specifically, can come with many challenges. Connecticut business owners who believe that a person or entity has misappropriated their trade secrets have the right to seek damages based on the circumstances of the case. If you find yourself dealing with financial loss, or the potential of financial loss, due to trade secret theft, you can seek legal advice to see what options you have.