Intellectual Property Law

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Last year we entered into a government competition requiring…

Customer Question
Last year we entered...

Last year we entered into a government competition requiring us to submit a business plan to the judges. By mistake, this highly confidential businesses plan was posted online. When I asked them to take it down they quickly assured me they did. I just discovered it's still up and discoverable under multiple search terms.

Lawyer's Assistant: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.

We are in Arizona. The local chapter submitted our materials to the National Organization.

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken so far?

Asked them to take it down. They said they did. But its still up.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Answered in 7 hours by:
3/15/2018
IP Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 1 month ago
Attorney Wendy
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 532
Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC
Verified

Hello. My name is ***** ***** I am an attorney. I am preparing a response to your question and should have that to you shortly.

Ask Your Own Intellectual Property Law Question
IP Lawyer: Attorney Wendy, Lawyer replied 1 month ago

First, I am sorry for this situation. Inadvertent disclosure of confidential material is always stressful and, at least in part, resolution and re-protection of that material can count on the goodwill of those who received it. Confidential information can be of many sorts - business strategy, customer lists, financial information about the business, its clients or its products/services. With a business plan, any or all of these types of information are often included. Unfortunately, when you mistakenly disclose that information to another party it can be difficult to wholly undue the damage. Here, however, where the document is posted online by the recipient, you have requested its removal and they agreed to remove it, you have a better foundation for its removal. At this point, one option is to write a cease and desist letter. Putting the request/demand in writing can provide some basis to seek relief from a court if the other party fails to do so. The business plan would presumably be your property and thus you are simply asking for its return to your control. Things that may be included in a letter include the identify the document or information, that you previously notified them of the error in providing it to them, that they were asked to and agreed to take it off the website but have failed to do so. You are now asking them to remove it and to destroy any and all copies, in whatever format (digital or hard copy or otherwise stored) in their possession. If they fail to remove it by a set date - depending on the size of the organization that has it, say 7-14 days from the date of your letter (enough time for it to make it to the right person who can actually take it down), you will be forced to take further action. A specific request that they confirm to you in writing when that has been done can be helpful as well. You may also want to ask for confirmation that it has not been transmitted or shared with any other parties other than through the site.

I hope this is helpful. If you need additional help, please reply to this email. If I answered your question and provided excellent service, I would greatly appreciate your 5 star rating at this time.

Please note: This information is for educational purpose only and is not legal advice. No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

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Attorney Wendy, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Experience: Member at Keefer & Keefer LLC

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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