A properly populated customer list is the life blood of many businesses. The Arizona Court of Appeals recently reminded us that simply calling your list a “trade secret” is not enough to make it so. Rather, two things must occur. First, the list must contain information that is not generally known or readily ascertainable in the community. Thus, the more difficult the list is to put together, the more likely it will be treated as a trade secret. Second, the business must consistently demonstrate its importance by taking reasonable measures to keep the information secret. For example, allowing some former employees or competitors access to your list but not others, may defeat your claim to a trade secret. So exercise care.
For more information contact Leon Silver, Shareholder and Rebecca Lumley, Associate, at the Phoenix office of Polsinelli. Polsinelli is located in 16 cities across the country.