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Trade Secrets Litigation

At Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, we represent plaintiffs and defendants in the high-stakes, fast-paced world of trade secrets litigation¾from international conglomerates to local start-ups to departing business executives. We have represented parties in some of the biggest trade secret disputes in the Pacific Northwest. We are often brought in during the crucial early stages of a trade secret dispute, when time is of the essence. Whether it is moving quickly to lock down evidence and then prevent further damage through temporary restraining orders, seizure orders or preliminary injunctions, or taking a more deliberate but equally aggressive approach to addressing meritless claims of trade secret misappropriation, our lawyers are here to help.

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which has been adopted in various forms by most states, defines a “trade secret” as anything that has economic value (i.e., that gives you a competitive advantage in the marketplace) because it is kept secret. Various state and federal laws govern the creation, protection, and dissemination of trade secrets. But too often, companies fail to take steps to protect their competitive information until the secret is literally walking out the door. The following are just a few examples of the types of information that, with proper confidentiality and other controls in place, might be considered legally protected trade secrets:

  • Information about customers and potential customers
  • Marketing plans 
  • Special pricing data
  • Financial data
  • Algorithms and source code
  • Internal development strategies
  • Metrics and analytics
  • Recipes and formulas
  • Product development information
  • Manufacturing processes

Because of our depth of experience in litigating trade secret disputes, our clients also look to us for advice on how to identify and protect their valuable trade secrets, how to prevent missteps with confidential information during the hiring and separation process, and how to leverage trade secret information for maximum economic value. We help our clients prepare nondisclosure and intellectual property-ownership agreements for employees and others to assure compliance, for example, with the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. We also help clients develop training and audit programs to assist them in properly identifying, handling, and protecting trade secret information, so that if litigation becomes necessary, the groundwork for a successful outcome is already in place. And if litigation ensues, we can provide helpful advice as to whether to sue in state or federal court and which forum might provide the best advantages.

It’s no secret¾Miller Nash Graham & Dunn is the “go-to” law firm for clients with trade secret problems.