Won a summary judgment dismissing a copyright infringement lawsuit brought against Beyoncé, Sony BMG and the co-writers and publishers of “Baby Boy.” The court found that Beyoncé’s Grammy Award-winning song “Baby Boy” did not infringe the plaintiff’s copyright. The decision was affirmed on appeal in all respects. Armour v. Knowles, 2006 WL 2713787 (S.D. Tex. filed Sep 21, 2006), aff’d, 512 F.3d 147 (5th Cir. 2007) (per curiam).
Won the dismissal of a client from a $30 million Civil Rights Act race discrimination suit when federal court granted the client’s motion to dismiss.
A trade secret is a piece of information which is confidential, can be legally protected, and gives your company a competitive edge. In Texas, trade secrets are defined as follows:
“Trade secret” means all forms and types of information, including business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information, and any formula, design, prototype, pattern, plan, compilation, program device, program, code, device, method, technique, process, procedure, financial data, or list of actual or potential customers or suppliers, whether tangible or intangible and whether or how stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing if:
(A) the owner of the trade secret has taken reasonable measures under the circumstances to keep the information secret; and
(B) the information derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable through proper means by, another person who can obtain economic value from the disclosure or use of the information.
Many of the most famous trade secret examples involve recipes, such as the formula for Coca Cola, McDonald’s Big Mac “secret sauce,” or Mrs. Field’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. But you don’t need to be a food purveyor or a mega-company to have a unique approach that sets you apart from your competition—and if you can legally keep it a secret, you should.
Here are four steps you can take to keep trade secrets safe:
Whether your trade secret is a treasured family recipe, a brilliant string of code, or a closely-guarded customer list, it won’t be a secret for long unless you are careful. Taking the steps above is a great first step toward a solid trade secret strategy. For even further assurances of security, consider retaining counsel for a professional security audit. Business attorneys like us can be great partners in protecting your trade secrets and your business.