Trade Secrets Minnesota Business Law
It is increasingly important in today’s business climate that businesses protect their confidential information. Employees, independent contractors, or other third parties are often the sources of misappropriation of trade secrets. In Minnesota, trade secrets are protected by the Minnesota Uniform Trade Secrets Act.1
What is a Trade Secret?A trade secret is information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, 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, and
- is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy.2
In other words, a trade secret exists when a business takes reasonable steps to keep valuable information secret. This may even include customer lists depending on the situation. However, not all information will be considered a trade secret.
RemediesA business who has had their trade secrets misappropriated are entitled to injunctions, damages, or royalties against the opposing party.
Preventing Misappropriation of Trade SecretsA business should consult with a trade secrets attorney in order to develop a plan for preventing the misappropriation of trade secrets. Often steps consist of physical or electronic procedures or protection in addition to contractual protections between the business and employee, contractor, or other party. Investing the time and effort to engage an attorney to develop a strategy for protecting trade secrets will save a business thousands of dollars or potentially the business itself.
How I can helpHave questions about protecting your trade secrets? I can construct any trade secrets plan or deal with any trade secrets misappropriation. Contact me today at (763) 458-5145 or via our online contact form.
1: See Minn. Stat. § 325C 2: Minn. Stat. § 325C.01, Subd. 5