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Both Uber and Lyft must feel a bit vulnerable following a decision by Washington’s Supreme Court decision to allow the government to disclose data on what Seattle neighborhoods they serve. The ruling overturns a lower court’s decision to grant an injunction that sided with the transportation companies right to keep data secret.

The state Supreme Court, while agreeing that the data qualifies as trade secret material, sent Uber and Lyft back to the lower court, where they must now prove that public disclosure of their data is “clearly not be in the public interest and would substantially and irreparably damage a person or a vital government interest.”1 If Uber and Lyft cannot prove their case in the lower court, they’ll both lose trade secret status for their data.

Details, Claims and Allegations Surround the Ride-Share Trade Secret Case

trade secrets notebook

The following details, claims and allegations surrounding the ride-share trade secret case were gathered from recent news reports:2

What’s Next for Uber and Lyft?

We’re not sure ourselves, but their legal teams might start looking at some legal precedents to apply in their next appeal, if any are made. What this case does do, however, is wake up small businesses and growing companies of the governmental bureaucracy at work. They should especially be wary of having to submit information deemed proprietary or trade secrets in nature.

Contact a Denver Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

Did you have an employee or contractor steal company trade secrets? Or are you being asked to provide information to a government agency with material your company deems proprietary and company trade secrets? Then contact the Denver Trade Secrets and Intellectual Property Lawyer with Downey & Associates, PC. We specialize in helping clients with sensitive legal matters involving intellectual property law. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 303-643-9399 or send us an e-mail.

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1“Uber and Lyft May Have to Disclose Seattle Data They Claim Secret, Supreme Court Rules” published in The Seattle Times, June 2018.

2“Ride-Sharing Services Lose Latest Trade Secret Battle” published in Labor Employment Perspectives, June 2018.

Zillow is set to pay $130 million in one of the most contentious online real estate cases in history. Zillow has agreed to settle with Move, which operates Realtor.com for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

As the settlement agreement explains:

It is understood and agreed that this is a compromise settlement of disputed claims and counterclaims and potential disputed claims and counterclaims... This settlement agreement is solely the result of a good faith compromise and settlement between the parties. Nothing contained herein is or is to be construed as an admission by any of the parties of liability, wrongdoing, or responsibility, and the parties deny any such liability or wrongdoing and continue to disclaim such responsibility.

A Look at the Allegations & Details of the Case 

trade secrets notebook

The following details were gathered from news reports and the Securities and Exchange Commission filing:¹

“We are pleased to have reached an amicable resolution of this litigation,” Move said in a statement. “We look forward to putting the matter to rest and returning our full focus to simplifying the real estate process for consumers and the real estate professionals who serve them.”

Contact a Denver Real Estate Attorney at Downey & Associates, PC

If you have a real estate deal that needs legal representation or you have a business dealing that needs litigation, you can count on Denver Real Estate Attorney Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their real estate legal issues, litigation, and property taxes.

Our dedication to our clients, coupled with our extensive experience handling complex real estate matters, means that our clients can always trust that we will aggressively protect their rights and help them achieve the best possible outcomes to their sensitive legal matters.

We encourage you to learn more about your rights and options, as well as our various services, by calling us at (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page.

From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

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1“Zillow to pay $130M to settle lawsuit with Move over alleged trade secret theft” published in Housingwire, June 2016.

A business’ trade secrets can be the basis of success for that enterprise. While we’ve discussed what businesses can do to protect their trade secrets with new and departing employees in previous blogs, here, we will point out some of the primary ways to protect trade secrets in dealings with non-employees.

Protecting Trade Secrets in Non-Employee Relations

trade secret notebook

To prevent non-employees from exploiting your businesses trade secret(s), develop:

  1. Internal company security measures – First and foremost, there should be some standard operating procedures for how a company’s trade secrets will be preserved, who is responsible for this oversight and what actions will be taken to enforce these measures. Generally, such security measures can include (but are by no means limited to):
    • Process(es) for appropriately marking, storing and handling trade secret materials in order to maintain/protect their confidential nature
    • Process(es) for establishing and verifying access to trade secret materials
    • Process(es) for granting and providing access to trade secret materials
    • Process(es) for reminding/retraining employees on how to maintain trade secret(s)and their responsibilities for doing so
    • Process(es) for destroying extra/unneeded/outdated copies of trade secret documents or files.
  2. Preclearance procedures for other expressions of trade secrets – In addition to establishing internal security measures for maintaining trade secrets, businesses intent on protecting their secrets in non-employee relations should also develop process(es) for allowing trade secret-related information to be discussed or disseminated via presentations, white papers, etc. Effective and appropriate preclearance procedures can prevent imprudent disclosures.
  3. Confidentiality agreements for non-employee business relationships – Another piece of the puzzle to protecting trade secrets in non-employee relations is developing specific confidentiality agreements for relationships with independent contractors and other business entities. These agreements should be developed with the help of an attorney, as there may need to be special provisions added to these contracts, based on the nature of the relationship and the type of business or trade secret being protected.

Contact a Denver Business Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

For experienced help protecting business trade secrets – or going after those who have stolen or misappropriated business trade secrets, contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their business, litigation, and real estate legal issues.

To learn more about how Mr. Downey can help you, call our firm at (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

Trade secrets and confidential information can be the backbones of businesses, and protecting this information can be pivotal to a company’s success and future. Among the various parties that interact with businesses – and that can have access to trade secrets and confidential business information – are a company’s employees.

Below, we’ll discuss how businesses can protect their trade secrets and other confidential information when it comes to employees, specifically focusing on some procedures that should be followed for new and departing employees.

Protecting Trade Secrets with New Employees

confidential sheet

When a business hires new employees, in addition to having the new employees sign a standard employment contract (and possibly a specific non-disclosure agreement), a human resources professional should meet with the new employees and do the following to ensure the company’s trade secrets are protected:

For Employees Who Are Leaving the Company…

Within five days of an employee leaving the company, a human resources professional should do the following to protect a company’s trade secrets and confidential information:

Contact an Experienced Denver Business Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

If you need help protecting your business’ trade secrets or taking action against any party that has illegally shared these secrets (or other confidential information), contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their litigation, property tax and business legal issues.

To learn more about your rights and options, as well as our various services, contact us by calling (303) 813-1111 or by emailing us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

303-647-9399
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