Friday, March 15, 2019

Corporate Security: Will Your "Secret" Status Hold Up in Court?

via Epstein Becker Green - Peter A. Steinmeyer
A federal judge in Chicago recently taught a painful lesson to an Illinois employer: even if information is sufficiently sensitive and valuable that it could qualify as a “trade secret,” it won’t unless the owner of the information took adequate steps to protect its secrecy. 

This doesn't qualify.
In a thorough opinion issued in the case, Abrasic 90 Inc., d/b/a CGW Camel Grinding Wheels, USA v. Weldcote Metals, Inc., Joseph O’Mera and Colleen Cervencik, U.S. District Judge John J. Tharp, Jr. of the Northern District of Illinois explained that “there are two basic elements to the analysis” of whether information qualifies as a “trade secret”:

(1) the information “must have been sufficiently secret to impart economic value because of its relative secrecy” and

(2) the owner “must have made reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of the information.” more

Contact a Technical Information Security Consultant if you are unsure about the "reasonable efforts" you should be taking.