Practice Areas & Industries: Husch Blackwell LLP


Trade Secret & Business Information Protection Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

As new technologies continue to unfold and workforces continue to fluctuate, a business’s valuable information is constantly at risk for inadvertent disclosures, misappropriation, or employee theft. In order to maximize their competitive positions, companies must develop some form of trade secret and business information protection plans. These protection plans help secure a company’s most valued trade secrets and confidential and proprietary information and prevent business information from simply walking out the company’s doors – and into a competitor’s hands.

Our Trade Secret & Business Information Protection group joins highly experienced attorneys from a variety of business specialties, including Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Privacy & Data Security, and Commercial Litigation – all with a shared expertise in trade secret protection. By combining these varied trade secret practices, our attorneys have a single, concerted objective: to help companies develop, implement and maintain sustainable information protection programs aimed at a company’s core business needs.

Our Solution

Protecting a business’s valuable trade secrets and confidential information requires multi-disciplinary solutions. Our diverse team focuses on a company’s current informational structures and processes. We begin by understanding the controls and systems that business units already have in place. From there, our group can help develop an appropriate protection model that integrates and builds on existing controls and systems in an efficient, priority-based manner.

How to Achieve a Comprehensive Business Information Protection Program

Companies that have lost valuable, competitive business information – and likely market share – often acknowledge that they failed to take concerted preventative steps because they did not know where to begin. Our Trade Secret & Business Information Protection group refocuses the analysis. Rather than asking where to start, we ask:

  1. What trade secret/information protections are already in place?
  2. What is the most cost-effective "next step" your business can take to protect its most valuable information?


Services Available

Services and Programs

Based on the answers to these two questions, our Trade Secret & Business Information Protection group offers a full range of “next step” services to protect a company’s trade secrets and business information.

Intellectual Property Audits
Guiding clients in transactions involving acquisitions, development, maintenance, protection, enforcement and commercialization, our intellectual property audits take a simple, multi-disciplinary team approach. We utilize in-house technical experts, corporate management, marketing personnel and outside counsel to:

  • Identify strategic and proprietary information/data belonging to the company
  • Determine the scope and strength of the intellectual property assets
  • Determine the most appropriate vehicle for protecting the intellectual property assets
  • Use a multi-functional approach designed to coordinate the company's business plan with it's intellectual property
  • Develop strategic planning to help drive long- and short-term growth and to use intellectual property to create new markets
  • Evaluate the exclusivity of the information/data to the company to develop the most appropriate way to control and protect it from unwanted disclosure and possible use by competitors

Human Resources/Employment Security Audits
Our team also provides clients with preventative trade secret counseling; employment “best practices” and policies; and confidentiality and non-competition program development, enforcement and dispute resolution. We provide employers with protection programs and the ability to optimize their enforcement. We have substantial experience counseling clients in the following areas:

  • Policy/procedures/handbook audits
  • Management/employee training audits
  • Information access audits
  • Compliance and corporate governance audits
  • Hiring/termination processes audits

Integrated Program Development
We design integrated protection programs with the express focus of preserving and protecting businesses' trade secrets and confidential information. This includes the consistent use and maintenance of:

  • Confidentiality/non-disclosure/trade secret agreements
  • Invention, improvements and assignment agreements
  • Inventories of prior inventions, discoveries, patents and trademarks
  • Non-competition/non-solicitation agreements 
  • Information security and access controls and systems
  • Hiring/termination interview checklists and property return procedures

Management and Employee Training
Because we stay current with trade secret developments, we can provide training for top management, in-house attorneys, human resources professionals and others with respect to trade secret matters – without extensive development time. This training has included:

  • Management training programs for information protection
  • Employee training programs for information protection
  • Contractor/vendor/supplier programs for information protection
  • Human resource intake/exit interview training

Management Consulting
Our team provides hands-on, real-time, practical consulting and effective communication on how to enhance business information protection systems. We work with businesses to handle:

  • Routine information security consulting
  • Emergency/incident information security consulting and crisis management

Privacy and Data Security
We counsel local, national and international clients in complying with privacy and data protection laws. Our extensive compliance experience includes:

  • Data breach notification compliance
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act compliance
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act compliance
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) compliance
  • Electronic Communications Privacy Act compliance
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act compliance

Patent/Trademark/Copyright Prosecution
Developing long-term relationships with clients beyond the mere drafting of legal documents, we frequently meet with business managers, listen to their needs, and develop plans of action that meet their objectives. As a result, we have successfully developed and maintained patent, trademark and copyright portfolios that add value to clients’ product lines. We effectively:

  • Analyze and assess which business “secrets” may warrant public patent, trademark or copyright protection
  • Analyze potential claims to maximize patent, trademark or copyright coverage
  • Draft and file appropriate protection documentation

Patent/Trademark/Copyright Infringement Litigation
We carefully analyze each infringement matter to determine the breadth of technical expertise that is required. A team led by an experienced trial lawyer is selected, and each team member brings value and efficiency to the prosecution or defense of the client’s intellectual property. We vigorously:

  • Assess competitive threats or misappropriation of patented or protected intellectual property
  • Analyze, investigate and develop legal claims relating to threatened or actual infringement
  • Pursue or defend infringement actions on a nationwide basis

Trade Secret Enforcement and Litigation Defense
When clients' trade secrets or confidential/proprietary information are threatened, disclosed or misappropriated, they turn to our Trade Secret & Business Information Protection group. Our litigators are prepared and immediately ready to:

  • Conduct legal investigations and analysis, and pursue injunctive and legal enforcement actions or defense
  • Conduct long-term business and litigation assessment
  • Diligently follow-through in sustained and expert trade secret and confidential information protection litigation