Your business’s trade secrets were what set it apart. Now, you’re frustrated, because you know that a competitor got ahold of those secrets through one of your employees.
You know that you can sue the employee, but what can you do about the information that has been leaked? It’s not just that your competitor has it—it looks like your information has already reached the internet. This is enough to severely damage your business.
When trade secrets get out, take quick legal action
If you know that a past employee leaked your trade secrets, you have to take action as soon as you can. You are able to sue them for breaching your contract with them if you had a noncompete or nondisclosure, and you can also go after the party that took those trade secrets and began to use them. You may be able to prevent other companies from using your intellectual property rights and your research to boost their own products.
Start your claim as soon as you can after discovering the leak
It’s in your company’s best interests to begin a claim against the past employee and the other company as soon as you can once you find out that your trade secrets have been leaked. It’s possible that the court could tell the other company to stop selling certain products or could help restrict others from using your research and intellectual property moving forward, but you will need to provide strong evidence that this property is yours and that the other company didn’t come up with the ideas on its own.
To do this, you will need evidence. Showing that a past employee met with people at the other company or has some kind of relationship with them could help. Showing minimal differences in designs or marketing approaches might be enough to prove that the other company stole from you, too.
This is a very difficult situation to be in, because you want to do what’s best for your company and also be able to continue earning from your investment. It may take time to take others to court, but that’s your main option as you look to prevent your trade secrets from being used by others.