Asked in Intellectual Property for California

Q: Received a cease and desist letter, for "taking trade secrets" would like some additional legal opinions.

Received cease and desist letter, from my wife's previous employer.

"I am contacting you on behalf of "XYZ" as it has come to XYZ attention that you have taken its trade secrets without "XYZ" permission and you have used those trade secrets for your own personal gain.

"XYZ" has evidence that you have established an online store: "stores names here" and that you have an account with "XYZ" main supplier and "XYZ" is in the process of confirming other suspected unauthorized activities carried out by you."

It also states that I must C&D all buying, selling activity or they will take the appropriate action etc. My question is do they have anything valid here? I have no obligation to the company, my wife isn't part of my company, and this "trade secret" is publically available on the internet which is how I got it and can prove how? I have contacted an attorney, but waiting to hear back is killing me. I'd write more, but I have a limit, any information would be appreciated.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Julie King
Julie King
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If literally everything you know about the business is from the company’s website — and not from any inside information of non-public trade secrets — then you are in the clear. Information on websites is not “secret” and, therefore, would not qualify as a trade secret.

1 user found this answer helpful

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