Joshua E. Liebman, an attorney at the business litigation firm of Novack and Macey LLP, recently spoke with Smart Business Chicago about the methods of protecting trade secrets and intellectual property during litigation. His recommendations appear in the August 2012 issue. PDF. Smart Business Chicago is a regional journal that provides insight and advice to executives of middle-market and large companies.
“For a company that depends on the confidentiality of its intellectual property, protecting its trade secrets during litigation may be as important, if not more important, than succeeding in the litigation itself,” Mr. Liebman said. In the course of litigation–regardless of whether a company is a plaintiff or defendant–secret information may be discoverable. “Under certain circumstances, “a company may be required to disclose its valuable trade secrets to one of its direct competitors.” Mr. Liebman said.
What can a company do to protect its trade secret information from disclosure during litigation? “The first step is to identify what it considers to be trade secret information,” Mr. Liebman recommended. “Once the trade secrets are identified, the company’s attorney should closely scrutinize the discovery requests to determine whether the trade secrets are responsive to the requests. If the information is not responsive, it does not have to be produced.”
A court may determine that trade secret information is responsive to a discovery request and must be produced. If this happens, “the information can be protected through the entry of a protective order, which prohibits the use of the disclosed information for any purpose other than the litigation in which it was produced.”
For more information about protecting trade secrets and intellectual property during litigation, contact Mr. Liebman at (312) 419-6900 or email@example.com.