A company's trade secrets may be some of its most important assets. Recent headlines underscore their importance, and vulnerability:

  1. Recently, an employee was arrested at the airport and over 1,000 company proprietary documents containing trade secrets were seized that the employee was attempting to transport with her to her new job.
  2. A national retailer recently was hit with a $21.5 million verdict after a jury found the retailer liable for stealing the design of a popular home improvement tool.
  3. A former employee recently pleaded guilty in a U.S. District Court in California to stealing proprietary technologies from his former employer and selling or offering them for sale to foreign governments and military contractors.

A survey of companies estimated that in just one year, companies likely were to have lost as much as $53 to $59 billion dollars in proprietary information and intellectual property through theft and misappropriation. Seeking trade secret counseling and an audit can assist clients to determine best practices to help protect their most important assets.