How to Protect Your Trade Secrets
Trade secrets are the key to businesses having a competitive edge over similar companies in their industry. A trade secret can be a product, blueprint, training materials, design, model, customer profile, recipe, formula, or information which is proprietary to that company. Trade secrets are protected under U.S. law, but it is still important for business owners to do everything possible to protect their trade secrets. To protect your company’s valuable information it is important to follow these tips.
- Identify your trade secrets: To protect your company’s trade secrets, you must first identify them. Not all information can be considered a trade secret, so you must look at what information is most valuable to your company and assess its potential value for the company in the future. You will also want to analyze how much time and money has been put into creating the information. By looking at all these factors, you can determine which information should be regarded as a trade secret and implement systems to protect it.
- Create and enforce trade secret policy: The best way to protect your trade secrets is to create a written policy. A written policy can establish guidelines for employees to follow regarding proprietary information, set limits for who is privy to the information, and protect you in court should a dispute ever arise over your trade secrets.
- Lock away trade secrets, both physical and digital: Once you have your trade secrets down in writing or saved on a digital file, you must keep them under lock and key. You should label trade secret documents with a warning about the private nature of the information. You will also need to restrict access to these documents or files, so that only a small amount of people can review them. By taking the time to keep this information safe, it reduces your chances of a third party stealing your trade secrets.
- Work with an experienced attorney: By partnering with an intellectual property attorney, you are giving yourself legal guidance and experience which can be useful in creating trade secret policies, and allows you to have representation in court when needed.
If you are looking to work with an experienced and savvy attorney to create a trade secret policy for your company, contact us at Dodd Call Black today.