When an employee leaves his or her job at your company, he or she will likely use what was learned during the time at your business in order to perform well at his or her next job. There is nothing wrong with that, unless this individual has stolen your trade secrets and is using them to benefit him- or herself, or a new employer. What can Oregon business owners do if they believe former employers have stolen trade secrets? Can a business law attorney really help with this type of situation?
How does the law define trade secrets? A trade secret is any information or process used by a company, which is not protected by a patent or known to others but is of great economic value to the business. Under Oregon law, employers do have the right to take legal action against former employers who have stolen trade secrets.
In order to accuse a former employee of stealing trade secrets, there needs to be evidence that he or she acquired the information in an improper way or broke the terms laid out in a nondisclosure or non-compete contract. There also needs to be proof that the trade secrets were shared without the company owner's consent. It can take time to gather the evidence necessary to pursue legal action, and it may not prove an easy task.
When trade secrets are released, it can do a lot of harm to a business. The financial fallout can be significant in some cases. Oregon laws are clear that business owners have the right to seek compensation for any losses resulting from the stealing and/or sharing without consent of this valuable information. If you believe your trade secrets have been compromised by a former employee, a business law attorney can review the details of your situation and help you seek relief through legal means, if doing so is deemed appropriate. To learn more about how an attorney can be of assistance, please visit our firm's website.