Steps to take to reasonably protect your company’s trade secrets

| Mar 3, 2021 | Business Law |

Many companies have trade secrets or other proprietary information that they want to protect. A company’s leadership may have employees sign contracts, including nondisclosure or non-compete documents.

Companies do this to protect their valuable assets from ending up in a competitor’s hands. Anyone with intellectual property rights must reasonably safeguard their assets.

What is a trade secret?

Accounting, recruiting and legal information may all fall into the category of trade secrets, along with these business assets:

  • Formulas
  • Devices
  • Blueprints
  • Customer data
  • Marketing materials
  • Product designs and processes
  • Recipes
  • Competitor research
  • Training manuals

All of the above can be classified as trade secrets because they can give a company an added edge over another.

How to reasonably protect your trade secrets

Companies have a responsibility to restrict access to their trade secrets. There are a few pieces of information that a judge presiding over your case will want to know if you allege that someone disseminated your trade secrets without your authorization.

When you tell the court that only a handful of people had access to the trade secret, the court will likely ask how you secured the information and monitored others’ access to it.

A judge will expect you to produce a copy of a document that you had your employees sign warning them not to share your proprietary information with others. They’ll inspect that document not only to outline what the protected trade secret is more tangibly but also to spell out the penalties someone may face by sharing your trade secrets with others.

What about your company’s intellectual property rights?

You don’t want to run the risk of your valuable intellectual property rights getting into your competition’s hands. Consult with a business law attorney who can draft a contract that protects your Waltham company’s interests, including penalizing those who violate any agreement that they enter into with you here in Massachusetts.


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