Company sues man over misuse of proprietary information


When employees are hired by New Jersey businesses, they may have a duty to keep the company's information confidential depending on the scope of their job. Almost all companies have trade secrets that if shared with others, could affect growth, profits and potentially the entire future of the company. When workers share or even threaten to share confidential information with others, it becomes a serious situation. One company is now suing a former employer after he made others aware of his plans to publish the company's proprietary information.

Ineos USA, a chemical company, is asking for damages and a restraining order against a Texas man who is allegedly in the process of publishing the company's trade secrets. The company claims that the man, a former employer, approached a co-worker on March 17 and asked the person to edit some information that the man had compiled. It was a book that contained Ineos' proprietary information. The man is being sued for violating the state's Theft Liability Act, as well as misuse of proprietary information and breach of loyalty.

Companies are very protective about trade secrets because this type of information can be used to harm the company. Should a competitor get a hold of this data, it can use it to gain an advantage and damage the company's bottom line. That is why companies take extreme security measures to keep this information secure.

Security can be challenging, though, when the person misusing the information is an employee - someone who has the means to access the company's most confidential data. Even when workers are trained to employ extra security measures, disgruntled employees who feel they have been wronged may use this data in order inappropriately to seek revenge on the company. This is not only immoral but also illegal and can result in fines and jail time.

Source: The Southeast Texas Record, " Ineos employee sued for plans to publish proprietary information," Annie Cosby, March 31, 2014