Trade secrets are meant to be secret. These secrets are often the very thing that separates your business from competitors. Unfortunately, keeping these secrets is not always an easy task. There are proactive steps that you can take to help better ensure your secrets are kept secure. These three tips can help:
- Know your secrets. Before you can protect your trade secrets, you need to know what they are. The secrets can include anything from a special recipe to a formula used to create a product, inventions in the works or a business plan. The list is seemingly endless. It is important to have a clear understanding of what secrets need protecting.
- Make it legal. It is wise to seek legal counsel to help ensure your secrets are protected. An experienced attorney can draft documents to help protect proprietary information. This can include confidentiality agreements like nondisclosure documents.
- Train employees. Refrain from unnecessarily sharing trade secret information with all employees. Every employee does not need to know this information. Also, make it clear when this information is shared that it is a trade secret. Inform the employee of their expectations to keep the information confidential.
A recent publication in GeekTime delves further into the difficulties of keeping trade secrets under wraps, noting available protections may extend to include trademarks.
What more can I do to protect my business? Any business that is looking to protect confidential information is wise to seek legal counsel. An experienced attorney can review the sensitive information and discuss all legal options to help better ensure your secrets are kept safe.