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Business Espionage in NYC: How to Navigate the Legalities?

This legal question related to Business law attorneys in New York has been answered.

Location: New York  |  Law type: Business law attorneys

I run a tech start-up in Manhattan's tech hub, near the Flatiron District. We recently had a product launch, which would be a game-changer in the IoT space. Just a week after our internal demo, a competitor released strikingly similar tech specifications and designs. We suspect an insider might have leaked sensitive information. Additionally, there's chatter about a mole in our team. I have circumstantial evidence pointing to an ex-employee, but it's not concrete. Which type of attorney should I be seeking? Can I secure my digital assets, and if so, how? What's the process of subpoenaing electronic communication, if needed? How do I compare lawyers in my area and determine their quality? What's the financial aspect of navigating this complicated process?

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My RIA Lawyer
6 days 18 hours ago, Business law attorneys, Georgia

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to Business law attorneys in the jurisdiction of New York. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

You appear to be facing potential intellectual property theft and corporate espionage issues. New York, being a hub for many businesses and start-ups, has law firms specialized in these areas.

Relevant Legal References

  • Federal Economic Espionage Act (EEA) of 1996
  • New York General Business Law, Article 39-DDD: Trade Secrets

Possible Solutions for Your Problem

  1. Intellectual Property Attorney: They can help you protect your assets, file lawsuits if necessary, and guide you on potential patent or copyright infringements.

  2. Cybersecurity Consultant: Engage professionals to audit your digital assets and ensure they're safeguarded against future breaches.

  3. Forensic Digital Specialist: If you need to subpoena electronic communication or extract evidence from devices, these experts will be invaluable.

Costs Involved

Service Average Cost in NYC
Initial consultation (IP lawyer) $500 - $1,000
Cybersecurity audit $5,000 - $50,000
Forensic digital services $1,000 - $10,000
Full representation (without trial) $10,000 - $50,000
Full representation (with trial) $50,000 - $300,000

Note: Prices can be highly variable. High-profile cases involving large corporations or significant amounts of money will skew towards the higher end.

Seeking Further Clarification

Your situation requires a multi-faceted approach. It's vital to find experienced professionals who can address both the legal and technical aspects of your predicament.

Relevant Questions for Your Situation

  • Do you have non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in place with your employees?
  • Have you conducted a preliminary internal investigation?
  • What security measures did you have in place to protect your digital assets?

Q1: How do I prove corporate espionage or intellectual property theft?

Concrete evidence is necessary, often requiring digital forensic investigations, witness testimonies, and document trails. The overlap between your product and your competitor's product should also be notably significant.

Q2: What penalties can the offending party face if found guilty?

Under the EEA, individuals can face up to $500,000 in fines and ten years imprisonment for each act of theft. Companies can incur fines of up to $5 million or more.

Q3: How can I further protect my business from future threats?

Regular cybersecurity audits, employee training, robust NDAs, and restrictive covenants in employment contracts can help deter future breaches.

Q4: Can I sue the employee and the competing company?

Potentially, yes. If you can prove the company was complicit in the theft, they can also be held accountable.

Q5: How do I ensure a subpoena for electronic communication is done legally?

Your attorney will guide you through the legal process, ensuring your actions adhere to both state and federal laws.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

Written, answered, changed

Legal question "Business Espionage in NYC: How to Navigate the Legalities?" has been changed 9 months ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of New York & area of law: Business law attorneys.
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Remember, if you are sued, it's too late to hire a business lawyer. If you are a small business owner or if you are starting a new business, a business lawyer can advise you on many aspects that are related to business! Contacting a small business attorney or law firm only when there is a current urgent problem is unhappy. The sooner you hire a business attorney, the better.

How much does a business lawyer in your location cost?

The most experienced and skilled corporate lawyers can cost between $350 and $700 per hour. It depends on a variety of factors, such as geographic location (U.S state), firm size (single attorney vs large business law firm and in some cases, a business lawyer can charge a flat fee (f.e: setting up an LLC).  Types of Business Attorneys:

  • 1. Contract lawyer will be needed to prepare the standard form contracts.
  • 2. Business organizations: corporation or limited liability company (LLC).
  • 3. Business attorney for real estate.
  • 4. Taxes and licenses:  your business (tax) lawyer should know how to register your business for federal and state tax identification numbers and how to fill out the necessary forms.
  • 5. Intellectual property attorney would be needed for all type of media, design or other creative-type business firms.

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