Do you have business-related trade secrets to protect? If you answered no, consider rethinking the question, as there is an excellent chance that you do. Most New York business owners who think they have no secrets to worry about are wrong.
Many things can qualify as trade secrets, but they lack the protection available to other forms of intellectual property (patents, trademarks, etc.). Still, you can safeguard your trade secrets so they can continue benefiting your company alone.
First, what is a trade secret?
It is a type of intellectual property that gives you a competitive advantage over other businesses in your industry. For example, the highly guarded recipe for Coca-Cola is a trade secret, and so is Google’s search algorithm. It is confidential information with economic value and is not generally known to the public.
How do you protect trade secrets?
One way to do so is to make it as hard as possible for others to find and misappropriate your business secrets. In the business environment of today, this usually means computer encryption paired with limited access. For example, keep your files securely encrypted and avoid giving all your employees access.
Here are some other protective tips:
- Use non-disclosure agreements to prevent workers and associates from sharing trade secret information.
- Develop and implement a trade secret policy to keep everyone in your company on the same page.
- Create physical barriers to deter access, such as storing this information or the computer terminals that allow access in locked cabinets or rooms.
The ongoing protection of confidential information is also beneficial if someone does steal your trade secrets. For example, when seeking a remedy for trade secret theft, a court may hinge its ruling on how vigilantly you tried to shield the information. Seek legal guidance to learn more about protecting your intellectual property.