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Expert Witnesses on Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property

Trade secrets protect the business revenue of a company by securing the recipe, ingredient or process the owner has created or developed. Through keeping these intellectual properties confidential and secret within the company, the business is able to progress through the market with a competitive edge.

Expert witnesses in intellectual property often deal with trade secrets either in their own business or have been part of these processes in the past. Trade secret IP must remain secret for any protection to hold currently and in the future. If any information is disclosed, the safeties are revoked, and the company could lose everything. Pursuing action against violators of these secrets is essential. This requires a lawyer and expert witness to explain the issues in the courtroom. Together, they are often able to detail why compensation, or another remedy, is necessary. Cooperation and diligence may lead to successfully
informing the jury panel.

What is a Trade Secret to a Business?

Trade secrets are a part of intellectual property. This translates into a process, ingredient, material or method that produces a competitive edge for the company.
This edge is required for the IP to be a trade secret. The product is usually manufactured either in whole or part through the trade secret, and it may contain materials of which the public is unaware. The creation of the product may increase the want or need to consume or purchase. This also supplies revenue to the company from sales. If the secret is stolen or misappropriated, legal action is necessary to remedy the situation.

What is Misappropriation?

Employees, family or others may steal the secrets hidden by the owner. The sale, disclosure or transfer of this information to another party or the public constitutes as misappropriation. Sometimes, the culprit may sell the recipe or process to a foreign power. While there are new laws in 2016 and 2017 that permit the United States to seek a remedy against these persons, it is difficult to recover from misappropriation and theft of trade secret data. The company’s ruin is possible through the actions of some employees, and this could lead to a company sinking if a new method of business is not found.

Trade Secret Expert Witnesses

Professionals in the business world often understand what trade secrets are intimately. Some of these experts have either had or dealt with these forms of intellectual property. They have helped devised strategies and processes for manufacture and distribution of products. Through this knowledge of procedure and methods, these professionals are uniquely qualified to explain to the judge and jury why an immediate remedy is necessary. Only by keeping the secret confidential does any protection exist. A timely conclusion to the theft or misappropriation may save the business from disaster. It is critical to hire a
lawyer to pursue legal action.

Expert Testimony for Trade Secrets

When experts are hired for intellectual property issues, these cases often involve a matter that needs clarification. Trade secret claims are generally confusing for the judge or jury due to the lack of understanding what these are and how they play a role in a company. The professionally must first start by detailing what trade secrets are, what secret exists with the company and how the actions of an employee harmed the business. The worker could have stolen or sold the information. Disclosure to the public is just as ruinous. Then, the expert may provide testimony on how reparations are possible if the confidential data has not been exposed.

The competitive advantage needs explanation to the jury. This special quality is what provides the revenue stream for the company. Once it has been removed, the business suffers. This could cause production to halt and distribution to stop. A breach of contract often is the initial problem with the employee. He or she has either misappropriated the information or has disclosed the details to another. This could lead to more confusing aspects of the claim for a jury. The expert’s task is to unravel these elements and simplify the case.

Intellectual Property Experts in the Courtroom

Once the secret has been explained and the actions of the perpetrator are revealed, the case may progress to possible remedies. If there is a breach of contract or confidence, these may have less difficult conclusions. Misappropriation or sale of the data is not as easy to resolve. The lawyer and expert will work together to show the jury and judge why compensation or another resolution is necessary.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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