Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.
Aldrich Law Firm, Ltd.

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Trade secrets may still be protectable if leaked online

At the Aldrich Law Firm, we understand that changing technology can sometimes pose challenges to intellectual property holders. This is especially true for trade secrets, which derive their value from their concealment. The proliferation of Internet usage has understandably made the loss of trade secrets through online postings a serious concern. In Nevada, this issue is addressed specifically in the state’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act.

Generally, trade secrets are protected as intellectual property as long as they remain a secret. Under the Nevada UTSA, once such a secret is disclosed to the public it ceases to exist as protected property. However, state law includes provisions for trade secrets that have been posted online. Such information may still be protected under the law if certain requirements are met.

Trade secret owners who discover that confidential information has been illegally posted online must act quickly. These owners must obtain court orders to remove the trade secret from the Internet. The orders must be obtained in a reasonable amount of time after the discovery.  In addition, the trade secret must have been taken down from the Internet in a reasonable time after the order was issued.

Failing to meet the time requirements of this provision may mean the loss of the trade secret. This can be devastating to businesses which rely on their intellectual property holdings in order to function.  

It is clear that in some instances, time is of the essence in intellectual property protection. In such cases, it is vital that trade secret owners vigorously defend themselves using all of the legal tools at their disposal. For more information on how to prevent the illegal disclosure of intellectual property, please see our page on trade secret litigation. 

John P. Aldrich
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