Last time, we looked very briefly at some aspects of Wisconsin’s trade secret law. As we noted, trade secret protection is available not only at the state level, but also through the federal courts. Last year, Congress passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which created a federal cause of action for the protection of trade secrets. Prior to that, the only way to pursue trade secret protection in federal court was to qualify under special jurisdictional rules.
For businesses, protecting valuable business information is important in order to ensure competitors are not allowed to unjustly benefit from the business’ innovation and hard work. There are a variety of tools businesses can use to protect valuable information from competitors. Some of these protections are more formal, such as restrictive covenants and intellectual property protections like patents. Some of the available protections are less formal, like trade secrets.