Businesses thrive for distinct reasons. Their strategies could change based on their operations and the resources they use to advance and expand. Certain companies bank on their intellectual properties, such as trade secrets, to give them an edge over their competition.
Unlike patents, trade secrets do not have a registry that indicates their official ownership. However, they receive protection against theft and misuse according to federal and state policies. The law allows businesses to take legal action following a violation, but it is up to the business owners to take measures to protect their trade secrets.
If a business has no procedures to secure the information, it might not qualify as a trade secret. Companies and organizations could take the following methods to keep their trade secrets private:
- Implementing limitations on information access
- Marking documents and files as confidential
- Indicating restricted areas and technology within the facility
- Using nondisclosure agreements for employees, contractors and partners
- Regularly examining employee policies regarding trade secret access
- Promoting best practices within the organization to protect intellectual properties
Making these efforts might not remove the risk of trade secret theft. However, they could help businesses have systematic safeguards that minimize threats.
Prevention is always better than going to court
Businesses go to great lengths to prevent trade secret theft because going to court could be more complicated. Additionally, unlawful disclosure of trade secrets could be challenging to prove.
Even if the information’s owner takes legal action, the trade secret could diminish in value as the involved parties discuss it during court proceedings. Also, a violation might only exist if someone else stole it through unlawful means. If they develop and produce it independently, it might not be an offense.
If a business’ core functions rely heavily on its trade secrets, it might need to invest in implementing measures to protect that information. These safeguards might not be failproof, but they could help defend your business against unfair competition.