Under both, the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act and the various state Uniform Trade Secrets Acts, an owner of trade secrets must take “reasonable measures” or reasonable steps to protect the trade secrets from being disclosed.
Since trade secrets are not registered with the government, like patents or trademarks, companies must take proactive measures to preserve them. Those who fail to take reasonable measures, risk finding out down the road (usually in court, when the try to recover stolen trade secrets from a rogue employee) that their information has lost its trade secrets status.
The business world is littered with the carcasses of companies which, after they shared their confidential information and trade secrets with a non-competitor, such as their client, supplier, or vendor, were undercut by that party, who all of a sudden realized that they could profit from the information by cutting out the middle-man.
Until recently, companies suing for trade secret theft ran a risk of having to disclose to their competitors in open court certain aspects of their
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