Defending a Trade Secret Theft Case
In Illinois, trade secret theft is a serious offense and can result in significant damages for businesses. In this blog post, we'll discuss some key strategies for defending trade secret theft cases.
First, it's important to understand what constitutes a trade secret under Illinois law. The Illinois Trade Secrets Act defines a trade secret as "information, including but not limited to, technical or non-technical data, a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, drawing, process, financial data, or list of actual or potential customers or suppliers that is sufficiently secret to derive economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use."
When defending a trade secret theft case in Illinois, one important strategy is to establish that the information at issue is not a trade secret. This may involve demonstrating that the information is already in the public domain, is readily ascertainable by proper means, or is not valuable enough to constitute a trade secret.
Another important strategy is to establish that the alleged thief did not actually steal the trade secret. This may involve demonstrating that the information was independently developed or that the alleged thief did not have access to the information in question.
If it's established that the information at issue is indeed a trade secret and was stolen, another defense strategy is to challenge the damages claimed by the plaintiff. This may involve demonstrating that the plaintiff's damages are speculative or that the plaintiff did not take sufficient measures to protect the trade secret.
Additionally, in Illinois, the statute of limitations for trade secret theft claims is five years. Therefore, if the alleged theft occurred more than five years ago, this can be a powerful defense.
Finally, it's important to note that in Illinois, a prevailing defendant in a trade secret theft case may be entitled to recover their attorneys' fees and costs. Therefore, if a business is successful in defending a trade secret theft case, they may be able to recoup some of their legal expenses.
In conclusion, defending trade secret theft cases in Illinois requires careful consideration of the facts and legal issues involved. Strategies for defending these cases may include challenging the existence of a trade secret, disputing that the alleged thief stole the trade secret, challenging the damages claimed by the plaintiff, relying on the statute of limitations, and potentially recovering attorneys' fees and costs. Businesses facing trade secret theft cases should consult with experienced legal counsel to determine the best strategies for their particular situation
if you are accused of trade secret theft call one of our Chicago trade secret theft defense attorneys at 630-333-0333.