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Trade Secrets

Companies rely on Mayer Brown’s comprehensive and strategically tailored approach to combat trade secret misappropriation by identifying, maintaining, enhancing and protecting their assets on a global basis.

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Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016

On May 11, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (“DTSA”), which creates a new federal private cause of action for trade secret misappropriation.

Mayer Brown’s global team of trade secret practitioners effectively negotiates agreement terms and develops internal programs and policies to ensure that our clients’ trade secret assets are properly identified and maintained. When there is a misappropriation, our team helps clients act quickly and aggressively to limit any harm and reassert control over their trade secret material. If those agreements are breached, or when allegations of misappropriation arise, we are well-positioned to advocate before arbitral panels and trial and appellate courts around the world.

Trade Secret Counseling

We assist our clients with the protection of trade secrets with the goal of never having to reach the courtroom. Leveraging the highly experienced lawyers in both our IP and Employment practices, we work with clients to address the confidentiality issues that frequently arise in the workplace by implementing effective restrictive covenants, non-competes and confidentiality/non-disclosure agreements. We also help companies create trade secret protection programs and regularly conduct seminars on trade secret protection and misappropriation to educate employees about the importance of ensuring the confidentiality of trade secrets and know-how.

Additionally, applying Mayer Brown’s extensive integration of competition and IP law, we address antitrust aspects of license, non-competition, non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. As with all our IP counseling, the goal is to ensure the strategic success of our clients’ investment of time and money for IP development.

Trade Secret Litigation

Mayer Brown’s IP lawyers have extensive experience representing clients in the prosecution and defense of trade secret lawsuits and proceedings. We have successfully represented clients in ownership disputes with their joint venture partners; in cases of trade secret theft by former employees; and in response to competitors’ attempts to reverse engineer our clients’ technologies. Using an aggressive litigation strategy, we have obtained favorable results in the form of equitable relief, monetary damages (including multimillion-dollar verdicts) and negotiated settlements before arbitral panels and trial and appellate courts around the world.

In addition to defending our clients from claims of trade secret misappropriation, we have assisted in developing defensible “design-around” or “reverse-engineered” substitutes to avoid any liability for trade secret claims.

Our IP lawyers work closely with Mayer Brown’s nationally recognized Supreme Court & Appellate practice to get the best results for our clients on appeal. Our appellate lawyers have argued hundreds of cases in federal and state appellate courts and more than 220 cases before the US Supreme Court. Chambers USA 2012 notes that “with [Mayer Brown’s] strong Supreme Court track record the firm is the first port of call for many high-profile appeals,” and that our “stellar appellate practice is an outstanding choice for complex, high-stakes cases.”

Also, as Legal 500 2012 has noted, Mayer Brown’s practice “melds ‘outstanding written advocacy, excellent judgment, and legal knowledge.’”

Temporary Restraining Orders

In scenarios where time has been of the essence, Mayer Brown has successfully obtained ex parte temporary restraining orders (TROs) to stop misappropriators in their tracks and maintain the status quo pending resolution of our clients’ claims. On the defense side, Mayer Brown has successfully and expeditiously lifted TROs obtained by adversaries.

Preliminary Injunctions

Mayer Brown has successfully obtained preliminary injunctions against corporations and individuals and has also defeated adversaries’ attempts to obtain injunctions against our clients.

We have helped to shape the state of the law with respect to establishing irreparable harm sufficient to obtain injunctive relief.

Permanent Injunctions

We have obtained permanent injunctions for our clients that indefinitely prohibit the use and dissemination of our clients’ trade secret material by misappropriators, providing clients with long-term protection and security for their IP assets. 

Electronic Discovery

Mayer Brown is a leader in the area of electronic discovery, and we understand the particular sensitivity of e-discovery issues in the intellectual property realm, where the vast majority of business information is created and stored electronically in a multitude of formats in a variety of locations. We have substantial experience in trade secret matters involving a wide range of computer-related misappropriation, including the use and misuse of flash drives and other external devices, e-mail privileges and cloud services and drop boxes. We have worked closely with renowned experts in the field of computer forensics to pursue and defend trade secret litigation.

We also ensure that our clients use proper collection and review protocols to avoid spoliation claims that the relevant data was not adequately preserved and produced. In an offensive posture, we are able to detect flaws in the collection and production methodologies employed by our opponents and have a keen eye on any failures to disclose evidence. We have successfully argued spoliation motions against our adversaries seeking adverse inferences and sanctions. 

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