How does Ohio law protect business trade secrets?

On Behalf of | Aug 2, 2022 | Business |

Many Ohio businesses rely on their innovation to succeed and advance. This means creating products, coming up with ideas and improving items that are already in existence. This is generally a collaborative effort and requires a certain level of trust in others. However, that trust can sometimes be betrayed. An employee or business associate might steal trade secrets.

Theft of a trade secret can mean innovative businesses don’t profit from their hard work and a competitor could use the secret for their benefit. To understand when trade secret theft, it is important to start from the beginning with knowing how these terms are defined under the law.

Understanding improper means and misappropriation of trade secrets

A trade secret can be anything that is created for a specific use. It is categorized as such if it has a certain value due to it not being known to the public and if there are reasonable attempts to keep it secret.

Misappropriation can occur if a trade secret was acquired by another person who is aware or should be aware that they came into possession of it improperly. It is also misappropriation if a trade secret is disclosed without consent of the owner and it was acquired via improper means; there was reason to know that the person who provided the information got it through improper means; or if there was a material change in their position and they either knew or should have known that acquiring it was an error or was accidental.

Business litigation can be necessary after a violation of trade secrets

Even if there are agreements in place that trade secrets will be maintained, those who know about them could violate the law by revealing them or using it themselves for their own gain. There is also a chance that outsiders could gain access to them and use them to profit on their own. Business litigation might be needed to hold those who have broken the law in this way accountable. Damages can be recovered and violators can be stopped from using the trade secrets. For help in these difficult cases, it is useful to have representation and advice from experienced business law professionals.