The way a business operates, including the way it creates its goods or distributes its services, can be extremely valuable information.

After all, if this information were known to competitors, then the process could be copied or undermined in a way that lures consumers to the competitor.

This is why trade secrets are critically important, and so, too, is protecting one’s other intellectual property. Those who fail to adequately do so can find themselves at a real disadvantage in the marketplace. Additionally, they can lose out on significant profits and suffer damage to their reputation.

One company has taken legal action to protect its business property. According to the lawsuit, filed by photograph editing app VSCO, PicsArt, an indirect competitor of VSCO, has reverse engineered 19 of its photograph filters.

VSCO claims that it has spent significant time and money in creating these filters and that they constitute intellectual property owned by the company. However, the company alleges, PicsArt infringed upon that intellectual property when a number of its employees created VSCO accounts for the purpose of accessing the filters in question, reverse engineering them, and utilizing them for PicsArt’s purposes.

One of VSCO’s primary claims is that PicsArt violated VSCO’s terms of use, which clearly indicated that users cannot sell, modify, copy, or otherwise use VSCO content inappropriately. While PicsArt claims that these allegations are false, VSCO iterates that the difference between the two companies’ filters are so miniscule that PicsArt’s could not have been created without being derived from VSCO’s filters.

Matters like these are highly complex, but can be crucial to a business’s success. This is why those who find that their trade secrets or intellectual property have been threatened should discuss the matter with an experienced litigator who may be able to help. It’s also beneficial to discuss with an attorney how best to prevent these issues form arising in the first place.