Head-start injunction refers to an injunction prohibiting a defendant from using a trade secret. Under head-start injunction, a defendant is prohibited from using a trade secret for a period equal to the time between the date of the secret’s theft and the date when the secret became public. This time period is referred to as head-start, ie; the period when the defendant unfairly obtained a trade secret over the rest of the industry.
In A.L. Laboratories, Inc. v. Philips Roxane, Inc., 803 F.2d 378, 384-385 (8th Cir. Mo. 1986), it was held that a head-start injunction is an alternative to permanent injunctive relief. Head-start injunction compensates for the time used by the defendant for misappropriating a trade secret rather than reproducing the information on its own.