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April 25, 2022

Pleading and Proving a Trade Secret Case

Pleading and Proving a Trade Secret Case

I am pleased to announce that the Michigan Business Law Journal has published my article, “Pleading and Proving a Trade Secret Case.” I write in the article:

A trade secret case requires careful planning and drafting by the plaintiff’s counsel, for a number of reasons. The elements of trade secret misappropriation are elaborate and tricky to plead. More often than not, key facts are in the exclusive control of the defendant. The plaintiff must adequately identify the trade secrets at issue—but must also be careful to maintain their confidentiality and avoid unwittingly limiting the scope of the claim for relief. And where preliminary injunctive relief is sought—as it is in many if not most trade secret cases—it is especially important to have one’s facts and legal theories nailed down from the outset.

The article examines key issues for trade secret litigants, including:

  • The rules for identifying relevant trade secrets, including the timing of disclosure and level of specificity required;
  • The standards for showing that information constitutes a trade secret, including independent economic value and reasonable efforts undertaken to protect secrecy; and
  • Issues relating to the different types of misappropriation, including acquisition-only theories and the viability of the doctrine of inevitable disclosure.

As I write in the article, “[t]rade secret misappropriation has emerged as a powerful, adaptable cause of action that can be employed to protect competitively valuable information of all kind.” If you would like to read the whole article, you may find it here.

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    About the Author

    Maxwell Goss represents plaintiffs and defendants in all stages of federal and state court litigation and provides strategic advice on intellectual property and business law matters.