Trade secrets represent the bulk of corporate America's intangible assets. Trade secret information is information that is valuable to your business and which would be valuable to your competitors if disclosed to them, for which reason you take steps to protect that information from disclosure to third parties. If the information is not valuable or you do not take any steps to protect it from disclosure, then the law does not protect that information as a trade secret. The primary way in which you protect that information from disclosure, but still use it in your everyday business, is through a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement. The key is to define the trade secret precisely so that there can be no mistake or excuse for misappropriation or an employee's breach of confidentiality.
The Law Offices of James G. Schwartz in Pleasanton, California, strikes that balance in drafting confidentiality agreements and other restrictive covenants. We represent technology companies, manufacturers and other employers in Alameda County, the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California.
We pay attention to detail to create thorough and enforceable confidentiality agreements:
- Between employees and employers — as a condition of hiring, in the course of employment or in severance negotiations, to prevent employees from disclosing trade secrets to competitors or using inside information to start their own competing enterprise
- In licensing and distribution agreements — to prevent licensees from revealing or transferring proprietary technology to other parties (or appropriating it for their own purposes)
We also assist clients in drafting non-competeagreements and non-solicitationagreements to discourage competitors from luring key employees away, and to prevent employees from spinning off to form their own companies and taking clients and trade secrets with them. The language often precludes competition within a specific geographic area for a specified period, but we are careful not to make the provisions so restrictive that it would not stand up in court.
Jim Schwartz has written, negotiated and litigated these agreements. Arrange a consultation today with an experienced IP lawyer.