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Tricks of the Trade, Part 2: Trade Secrets and Inevitable Disclosure in California

A few weeks ago, we posted an article geared towards entrepreneurs who are striking it out on their own with a new business venture.  We provided some tips on how to make sure you leave behind all files and documents that your former employer might classify as “trade secrets” to avoid misappropriation allegations, but closed the article by acknowledging the impossibility of leaving a workplace with a spotless mind.   Let’s discuss a few of these “intangible” types of trade secrets that might seem impossible to physically leave behind.

Trade Secrets and California Law – Defining Trade Secrets

For many businesses, success depends upon keeping certain, key pieces of company information strictly in-house.   This information might be a certain technique or formula used to create a product, a client list, or a business plan- all of these could indeed represent “trade secrets.”  Yet there is no hard-and-fast list of types of information that are uniformly labeled as trade secrets.  Rather, the information must fit into the definition set forth in California Civil Code Section 3426-3426.11, known as the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, or UTSA.

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