Does your company have information that is valuable because it is secret? Are you sure you’re doing what you need to protect it? What happens if a former employee uses that information without your permission?


Trade secrets are a type of intellectual property that the law protects even though it cannot be covered under patent law, copyright law, or trademark law.

To qualify for trade secret protection, your “secret” must qualify for the following conditions:

The information you wish to protect must be secret.
The information must be valuable because of its secrecy.
You must take reasonable measures to protect the secrecy of that information.


Trade secrets vary from business to business, but essentially, they are a process you have developed that is crucial to your products or services. Examples of trade secrets are customer lists, special business methods (which are sometimes also patentable), and recipes. Because of the requirement to take reasonable steps to protect the secrecy of information, trade secrets are often tied to noncompetition agreements or non-disclosure agreements. If you have partners, a contract may need to be developed, or if one already exists, we offer contract reviews. These can make sure you’re getting a fair result out of the deal. Using a business attorney in this process means you’ll know what you’re agreeing to, which could save or make you a lot more money down the road.


Eric Helmy

Intellectual Property Attorney


  • 100% Satisfaction with Communication
         Eric helped represent me with a very large lawsuit that was brought against me. 100% satisfaction with communication. It was timely; it was appropriate; it was insightful, thoughtful. From beginning to end, it was very clear that my legal counsel, Eric Helmy was by far the better warrior, so to speak, the intellectually, strategically, and we clearly outthought the opposition from beginning to end, and I don’t think they knew what hit them. The opposition didn’t have any choice but to really retreat and drop the suit, so I was very satisfied.
    Aloysius Fobia, M.D. Physician in Portland, Oregon
  • He'll Respond to Me When I Need Him.
         …I believe my law case never would have got off the ground without Eric’s attention to what was happening to me. I’m an excavator, in the tough times that have come along, there’s been several instances where the big developers think they’re not going to pay me, and I feel like they’re trying to [take advantage of] me. I can call Eric,…and he’ll come down and go sit in a meeting with me and all these big developers are writing checks before we’re getting up and leaving. …It’s nice to know that I have him on retainer, and he’ll respond for me when I need him. That’s the personal service you’ll get with him…
    Brad Bartlett Bartlett Excavation & Construction, LLC
  • We Left With Important Information and a Plan
         Our first meeting with Eric was very helpful. We left with important information and a plan, and now we have our own corporation! Eric was invaluable in the writing of our bylaws and in advising our business setup. He also had great insights into owning a business in the Northwest. Having him on our company’s side makes us feel ready for the legal hurdles we will face as our business grows.
    Jaclyn Stewart CEO of Jurevicious Studios
  • We are Very Pleased
         …We’ve worked with Eric on two different contract matters and [have] been very, very pleased with his advice and all the support he’s provided to members of our organization…We were really, really pleased with the quality of work Eric delivered, all the due diligence he performed, the advice he gave to the members of our staff…We would certainly recommend Eric, and we would hope to work with him again.
    Alice Forbes