Discovery of trade secrets is a vital part of many businesses, providing a competitive advantage that can be the difference between success and failure. However, protecting trade secrets can be a challenging task, and businesses need to be aware of the laws that govern their discovery and use. In Florida, the law concerning the discovery of trade secrets is codified in the Florida Uniform Trade Secrets Act (FUTSA).
FUTSA defines a trade secret as information that derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use. Examples of trade secrets include customer lists, manufacturing processes, and technical specifications.
In Florida, the discovery of trade secrets is governed by the same rules as the discovery of any other evidence. This means that parties to a lawsuit can request the production of trade secrets as part of the discovery process. However, FUTSA provides several protections for trade secrets to ensure that their disclosure is limited to only those who have a legitimate need to know.
First, FUTSA allows a court to enter a protective order that limits the disclosure of trade secrets to only the attorneys and experts involved in the case. Second, FUTSA provides for the sealing of court records to prevent the public disclosure of trade secrets. Third, FUTSA allows a court to issue an injunction preventing the disclosure or use of trade secrets.
Businesses that want to protect their trade secrets in Florida should take several steps:
- First, they should identify their trade secrets and mark them as confidential.
- Second, they should limit access to trade secrets to only those employees who have a legitimate need to know.
- Third, they should have written agreements in place with employees and contractors that prohibit the disclosure or use of trade secrets.
This post was written by Okoye Morgan Jr., a lawyer with extensive knowledge in personal injury Tampa. Okoye is one of the founding partners of The Black Law Company, specializing in personal injury law, trust and estate law, civil litigation law, and criminal defense. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice.
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