Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Protecting trade secrets from whistleblower misappropriation

Businesses in New Jersey may suffer harm when their trade secrets are misappropriated. Companies may file lawsuits against people who steal their trade secrets in most cases. However, people who reveal trade secrets as a whistleblower have legal immunity under the Defend Trade Secrets Act. Companies can take steps to protect their trade secrets by implementing strategies to prevent them from being revealed.

Companies should place strict limits on who has access to their proprietary information. They should write policies to limit access and strictly adhere to them. Companies are also required to notify their employees about the immunity provision under the DTSA, so they should make certain to comply.

If a whistleblower reveals trade secrets, the company should investigate how he or she obtained the information. The immunity provision does not protect whistleblowers who obtain trade secrets through unlawful means. The company should also look at how the whistleblower revealed trade secrets. Under the law, the whistleblower must disclose the information to a law enforcement officer or an attorney. If the whistleblower did not do this first, the immunity provision might not apply. A company should not wait for the whistleblower to file a complaint and should instead be the first to file. During the court proceedings, the company should continue protecting its trade secrets by asking for an injunction and other measures. A company should never agree that immunity under the DTSA applies.

Businesses that have had their trade secrets misappropriated by whistleblowers might want to get help from experienced intellectual property litigation attorneys. The lawyers might help their clients to file lawsuits against the offending parties and request injunctions to prevent the information from being disclosed.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

27 Bennington Drive
Flanders, NJ 07836

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