Insight For Protecting Valuable Trade Secrets

Shift your perspective and mindset. Accept that preventing your intangible assets from being used by your competition is intrinsically more valuable than reacting when they are shared. This extends to intellectual property that can and should be legally safeguarded through patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Furthermore, it is essential to know that trade secrets are intellectual property. 

A good (and often overlooked) example of a trade secret is a customer list. It is valuable primarily because it is not shared information. Before we elaborate on ways to keep that information inside your company, you must understand that if it is to be viewed as a trade secret, you have to deliberately limit who has access to it—and work to keep it confidential. For instance, if every employee can see your customer list, and you have not developed a culture that understands the need to keep the information private, you may lose the right to call your information a trade secret. 

It’s a Full-Time Position 

In a perfect scenario, you would have someone who can identify what needs to be protected, implements programs, and maintains the systems you have in place. Decide whether your trade secrets are valuable enough to warrant the cost of an employee to protect them. If you can’t make that justification, contact an attorney who understands labor and employment law. Firms such as Cueto Law Group, P.L., will evaluate the strength of your existing procedures and audit them to protect your trade secrets as you intended. 

While we are talking about attorneys, it needs to be mentioned that confidentiality agreements and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) are both valid forms of protection. However, they must be implemented under the right conditions and drafted by a skilled attorney. 

Train & Maintain 

Previously, we mentioned the importance of fostering a culture that understands how to prevent, detect, and deter issues that lead to your trade secrets being made public. Leadership not only needs to lead by example, but they need to implement training at regular intervals to reinforce the standard. 

It’s no secret that the world is becoming (or has become) excessively digital. This is how we store and transmit information. Your training must outline ways your employees can protect the trade secrets they have on their computers. Did they have the appropriate software? Do they know how and when to update it? Are there records that can verify that each employee is compliant? These are the types of issues that training and systems can prevent from escalating. 

Keep Your Workplace Compliant With Cueto Law Group, P.L.

Even companies with robust systems and controls will likely work alongside third-party vendors. Maintaining trade secrets is a part of being a business owner. In addition to helping you protect yours, we can assist you with employee agreements, confidentiality obligations, and other employment law challenges. Contact Cueto Law Group, P.L., to schedule a consultation.