CUSTOMER LISTS AND TRADE SECRETS

We defend employees in non-competition cases filed by their former employers. In many of these cases, the employer asserts that our client has taken a “customer list” from the employer and is using that list to illegally compete with the former employer. The employer sometimes even argues that the “customer list” is a “trade secret.”

Virginia law recognizes that trade secrets exist and must be protected. The Virginia Uniform Trade Secrets Act (Va. Code Sections 59.1-336 to -343) provides a very vague definition of just what actually constitutes a “trade secret” but Virginia courts have held that trade secrets may include customer lists, pricing information, business leads, sales techniques and methods of conducting business.

My take: Consult with a knowledgeable attorney before you leave your current employer if you have signed a non-compete agreement – you may just prevent some serious headaches.

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Dan Frith

Dan Frith has over 25 years of experience representing individuals and families in cases of medical malpractice throughout Virginia. He has been named "Best Medical Malpractice Attorney" by Roanoker Magazine and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with Dan, contact him by email at dfrith@frithlawfirm.com.