Can You Keep a Trade Secret?

Can You Keep a Trade Secret?

To meet the definition of a trade secret under Florida law, a business must establish that the specific information it seeks to protect has independent economic value and that the business made reasonable efforts under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. Therefore, it is important for businesses to know what constitutes “reasonable efforts” under Florida law to ensure it is protecting their trade secrets.

What Are “Reasonable Efforts” Regarding Trade Secrets?

For example, Florida courts have found that an employer has made reasonable efforts to protect its trade secrets by requiring its employees to sign agreements that prevent the employee’s use or disclosure of the employer’s trade secrets and confidential information. Additionally, a business took reasonable measures to protect information as a trade secret where the business kept its unique and specialized machine in a room accessible only to authorized personnel.

What Is a Trade Secret?

On the other hand, disclosing information to others who are under no obligation to protect its secrecy defeats any claim that the information is a trade secret. Florida courts have ruled that a business’s pricing lists did not meet the definition of a trade secret where the business failed to take reasonable steps to maintain confidentiality or otherwise limit the dissemination of the pricing information. For these reasons, it is crucial for businesses to work with an experienced attorney who can help establish and maintain policies and procedures that protect the business’s trade secret information.