Trade secrets are critical components of many Florida businesses, including those involving real estate transactions. A business owner’s secrets are often keys to his or her success, whether it be client information, designs or financial data. If such information falls into the wrong hands, it could prove disastrous for a business. Trade secrets are the central focus of real estate disputes currently brewing in another state.
This particular situation has already been considered initially at the state level and is now heading to federal court. A brokerage firm has claimed that one of its employees was not only lured away to work for a competitor but was paid by the competitor to steal client, listing and sales information before leaving her post. The Defend Trade Secrets Act was signed into law in 2016 and became effective in 2017; prior to the enactment, all issues regarding trade secrets were adjudicated at the state level.
This is reportedly the first time a real estate listing case will be heard in federal court. The former employer of the woman who is accused of stealing trade secrets says she used her work email to transfer the information to her personal email, intending to share it at her new employer’s request. The company accused of poaching trade secrets has been in this line of fire before; several others have made similar allegations during the company’s recent push for expansion.
Real estate disputes in Florida and elsewhere are often complex. In this case, a federal judge will now decide whether one brokerage firm has infringed the rights of another. An experienced real estate law attorney would be a great asset to have on hand when preparing to litigate a trade secret issue.