Trade Secret Misappropriation
Kercsmar & Feltus is one of the largest intellectual property law firms in Arizona, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. We have extensive experience defending and prosecuting trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition disputes in federal district courts, the United States International Trade Commission and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The firm’s excellence in intellectual property litigation has been recognized over and over. For 2018, US New & World Report ranked Kercsmar & Feltus as a first tier firm in intellectual property litigation. Founding Member Geoffrey Kercsmar was honored as Best Lawyers’ “2018 Scottsdale Litigation – Intellectual Property Lawyer of the Year.” The “Lawyer of the Year” Award is allocated annually to the lawyer who has the highest overall peer-review feedback in a certain practice area for a particular geographic region. Kercsmar & Feltus's Intellectual Property Practice Leader, Greg Collins, ranks as one of only twelve Arizona attorneys rated as a "Southwest Super Lawyer" in field of Intellectual Property Litigation. Partner Sean O’Hara has been identified as a “Rising Star” in this practice area by the same organization. Many of the firm’s other attorneys also have substantial intellectual property litigation experience.
Intellectual property is not just limited to patents, trademark and copyright. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects the use of certain business information, including customer lists, financial data, formulas, programs, processes, techniques, and methods. The owner of business secrets may have certain rights to prevent its use or disclosure, so long as that owner can demonstrate that the information has independent economic value and reasonable measures have been taken to maintain its secrecy. In the United States, the Economic Espionage Act of 1996, which criminalizes certain aspects of trade secret law, can raise the stakes in trade secret litigation beyond just the parties’ economic interests.
Our intellectual property lawyers are regularly involved in cases in which the use or disclosure of critical trade secret information is at stake. We have experience in cases in which temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctive relief has been sought, cases in which the expanding "inevitable disclosure doctrine" (which employers may use to prevent former employees from working at a new position if it is inevitable they will use or disclose their former employer’s trade secret information) has been applied, and cases in which significant money damages have been claimed. Those cases have involved trade secrets both of a technical nature, such as computer programs, databases, laboratory procedures, mill-building technology and computer networking technology used to enable Internet traffic, and of a non-technical nature such as business strategies, marketing and financial information, and customer lists. Our experience in this area is invaluable to clients facing the threatened use or disclosure of their critical trade secret information, as well as to those faced with claims of misappropriation from a competitor.