is a partner at Archer & Greiner P.C. who has litigated business disputes of all types, ranging from complex matters for Fortune 500 companies to mid- and small-sized businesses and individuals, including a variety of labor and employment issues in both the public and private sectors. He is Chair of Archer’s Trade Secret Protection and Non-Compete Group.
The category of “trade secrets” is broad and encompasses information that people may not ordinarily associate with the term. Easy, iconic examples of trade secrets include the secret recipe for Coke or the secret formula for creating the nooks and crannies in Thomas’ English Muffins. Others, such as the algorithms that determine what appears in our social media feeds, or how much an office supply store charges a particular client for a box of paper clips, may not be so apparent. In reality, a “trade secret” is any secret, commercially valuable piece of information to which its owner restricts access and takes reasonable steps to protect. But even if you knew how wide-ranging the category is, you may not have considered “catcher’s signs” a trade secret. That is exactly what a former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher is contending in a recent lawsuit filed in Texas state court. This case is generating much debate in the legal and baseball communities. Time will tell whether this suit is a dribbler that does not get past the pitcher or a line drive into the gap for extra bases, so let’s step up to the plate and take a good look at this recent case.