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Denver Trade Secrets Attorney

The Denver trade secret lawyers at Thomas P. Howard, LLC regularly litigate matters involving the alleged theft of trade secrets, both in state and federal court.  Trade secrets may be protected under Colorado state law at Colorado Revised Statutes (“C.R.S.”) § 7-74-101, et seq. (sometimes referred to as the Colorado Uniform Trade Secrets Act or “CUTSA”), or federal law under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), 18 U.S.C. § 1832, et seq.  Attorneys often bring trade secret claims under both statutes in federal court.

Under the state CUTSA statute, a “trade secret” can broadly include almost anything that is created or acquired by a business that confers a competitive advantage and is kept secret by its owner. C.R.S. § 7-74-102. But a trade secret can lose its protected status if it is not subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. Damages for misappropriation of trade secrets can include actual damages caused by the misappropriation to the owner as well as unjust enrichment or profits obtained by the misappropriating party. See C.R.S. § 7-74-104.

Under the federal DTSA, a trade secret includes information, whether tangible or intangible, and whether stored, compiled, or memorialized physically, electronically, graphically, photographically, or in writing. The DTSA does not pre-empt the Colorado state trade secret statute, so a trade secret plaintiff may file both the DTSA lawsuit and also plead a CUTSA state law claim in federal court for the misappropriated trade secret. However, the DTSA does require that the trade secret be “related to” a product or service used in interstate commerce. Remedies under Section 1836(b)(3) of the DTSA include injunctive relief, and monetary damages such as actual loss and unjust enrichment. Attorney's fees may be awarded against the plaintiff if the misappropriation claim was made in bad faith, or against the defendant if the trade secret was willfully and maliciously misappropriated.

Intellectual property (“IP”) may be protected as a trade secret as an alternative to patent protection. Some types of IP, such as customer lists and recipes, are not eligible for patent protection. Also, patents are limited to 20 years from the filing date of the patent application, while trade secrets can be protected indefinitely if secrecy is maintained. But a trade secret does not protect against independent invention or reverse engineering, as these are legitimate competitive activities and not misappropriation.

The Colorado trade secret attorneys at Thomas P. Howard, LLC, regularly handle trade secret litigation under the Colorado Uniform Trade Secret Act. Trade secret attorney Thomas Howard has litigated and won multiple trade secret matters in Colorado at both the trial and appellate levels. Attorney Howard has further acted on several separate occasions as a trade secret expert for parties and counsel requiring expert third-party testimony. Several examples of recent trade secret litigation include:

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  • Thomas Howard in Saturn Systems v. Militare went to trial in Denver District Court and obtained a judgment on behalf of Plaintiff for injunctive relief, damages and attorneys' fees arising from the defendant's intentional theft of trade secrets. On appeal, Thomas Howard again represented Saturn Systems. The Colorado Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's decision and awarded legal fees to Thomas Howard's client for the cost of litigating the appeal.
  • Thomas Howard represented a medical professional in a trade secret matter that went to trial and won, obtaining damages and costs.  
  • Thomas Howard successfully obtained permanent injunctive relief on behalf of an online tax services company in order to freeze an employee's theft of trade secrets in an attempt to compete.
  • Thomas Howard successfully defended a trade secret matter for a U.S. citizen residing in the People's Republic of China, obtaining a settlement and dismissal at the outset of the dispute.
  • Thomas Howard represent a defendant as an expert in a trade secret matter and argued based on the facts that the plaintiff had failed to maintain secrecy and no trade secrets existed.  The case settled shortly after issuance of the expert report.  

Contact A Denver Trade Secrets Attorney

To discuss your trade secret matter with a Colorado trade secret litigation attorney, contact a lawyer at the law firm of Thomas P. Howard, LLC, at (303) 665-9845. You can also schedule a complimentary initial consultation with the firm by contacting us via e-mail.

Our firm represents clients in intellectual property claims, trademark litigation, copyright litigation, business litigation and more in the following cities and surrounding areas:

Louisville, CO | Denver, CO | Aurora, CO | Littleton, CO | Centennial, CO | Parker, CO | Watkins, CO | Westminster, CO | Arvada, CO | Golden, CO | Boulder, CO | Brighton, CO | Longmont, CO | Loveland, CO | Black Hawk, CO | Idaho Springs, CO | Larkspur, CO | Monument, CO | Fort Collins, CO | Colorado | Springs, CO | Pueblo, CO | Breckenridge, CO