Just like the foundation of a building, construction firms are built on trade secrets and intellectual property that is exclusive to their business practices. It’s critical that business owners consult with a Brandon construction attorney to help them protect these trade secrets from being divulged to a competitor.
In the first part of this four-part article, we discussed what exactly entails as a trade secret. In this section, we will expand on this legal definition by detailing some types of trade secrets that exist in the construction industry. Remember for any of your construction contract needs, including to protect trade secrets, consult with an experienced Brandon construction lawyer at Cotney Construction Law.
Trade Secrets in Construction
Although there are endless examples of intellectual property in an industry like construction, including laws related to patents, copyrights, and trademarks, we will go over some basic examples of the type of trade secrets that construction firms value most:
- Construction Practices: Similar to copyright laws that protect the design an architect creates for a client, there’s a myriad of trade secrets related to the strategy that a construction firm pursues when they take on projects. Everything involving these strategic plans should be protected.
- Business Information: Any type of valuable business information, processes, or methods that are not public knowledge should be considered a trade secret. This includes any proprietary information accessed through the company’s database along with any marketing strategies or other strategic business plans.
- Budgetary and Clientele Information: Information including company payroll, valuable company pricing information, and private information related to suppliers, subcontractors, and other vendors, if it isn’t public knowledge, may be a trade secret.
- Technical Information: This encompasses the business entity’s software and databases, the specific equipment, tools, and techniques used during construction. Construction firms need to always protect their best interests in regard to any technical specs related to their projects or clerical strategies.
Examples of Stolen Proprietary Information
Although there are countless examples of how valuable information can be improperly divulged, if the information is protected, there are legal avenues to take to seek damages. In many cases, an employee doesn’t understand their agreement and shares confidential information with another party. In other cases, a former employee starts their own business or joins a competing business and duplicates confidential information from your business. Another example is if a competitor accesses and removes valuable information from your business. Any of these examples require the immediate attention of a Brandon construction lawyer.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.