Trade secrets are essential to the success of businesses in all industries. Your ability to protect your trade secrets and other intellectual property helps you avoid damages related to misappropriation and theft.
Working with an attorney who understands how to protect your trade secrets is the first step to ensuring long-term security.
Trade secret litigation is a highly specialized area of law. So you need to have the right resources in place to protect your entire organization.
Understanding Trade Secrets
Trade secrets allow today’s businesses to maintain a leading edge over their competitors. Proprietary information is critical to achieving profits within any industry, and businesses must understand the threats that can arise.
Trade secrets include designs, marketing plans, formulas, and other intellectual property.
Trade secrets cannot be registered for protection by the government in the same ways as copyrights and trademarks. As a result, businesses must maintain confidentiality in order to keep their trade secrets safe from competitors, employees, and other parties.
The primary focus of trade secret litigation is the protection of your intellectual property. This is specific to information that may be used by others in an unauthorized manner.
Trade Secret Concerns
Trade secrets are at a high risk for theft in today’s marketplace. Many trade secret lawsuits are a result of companies that pursue the employees of their competitors.
This is commonly seen in the oil and energy industries, but trade secret violations can occur in other areas of business as well.
By persuading the employees of competitors to join their organizations, businesses can take advantage of the proprietary information that these individuals may have.
Accidental access or transfer of trade secrets may also be considered as misappropriation. This occurs if the individuals involved knew that the information obtained was a trade secret before it was utilized or shared.
In order to protect your trade secrets, you must identify those secrets and control their access.
Your organization’s team members must understand any guidelines that are in place to protect these secrets, and the rules that govern trade secrets must be strictly enforced.
If you don’t have regulatory mechanisms for your trade secrets, you may suffer costly damages. Your attorney will help you create a comprehensive and balanced plan for protecting your intellectual property.
How to Protect Your Trade Secrets
Businesses can protect their trade secrets by creating barriers that prevent their misappropriation. These include physical, contractual, and disclosure barriers.
Physical barriers allow trade secrets to be monitored and handled separately from other data. You can use a variety of tools to create physical barriers to trade secrets such as firewalls, passwords, and encryption technologies.
These are especially important in today’s connected marketplace. The loss of employee laptops and mobile devices puts businesses at risk for the loss of intellectual property.
Disclosure barriers limit the access to trade secrets through systems that require check-ins and document reviews.
Contractual barriers are agreements related to nondisclosure, noncompete, and other aspects of trade secret security.
Businesses that work with third parties should emphasize the use of these contractual barriers. They can also be used when addressing employees who are leaving the organization.
Working with a skilled attorney who understands trade secret litigation helps you protect your intellectual property and proprietary information.
Trade secret litigation can be complex and time-intensive. So having the right legal resources can help streamline the process of protecting your business and recovering any losses from misappropriation.
An attorney can help you implement confidentiality non-disclosure, and other agreements that protect your information. Unfair solicitation, competition, and the enforcement of agreements can also be addressed by working with your attorney.
Injunctions and restraining orders keep others from benefiting from your proprietary trade secrets.
Understanding trade secret litigation helps you secure your organization’s ability to compete fairly within your industry and achieve lasting success.