Most people associate the theft of trade secrets with large companies. However, all businesses are potential targets, regardless of their size. Trade secrets can include scientific processes, specialized recipes, formulas, customer lists, pricing methods, and any other form of valuable proprietary information that is not generally known to the public.
Below are a few steps your company can take to immediately reduce the risk of your trade secrets being stolen:
- Take an assessment of what trade secrets your business has and what their value is. You must understand what lists, processes, formulas or methods you have that need to be protected. Depending on the value you assign to each trade secret, you must determine what level of protection is necessary to safeguard them. For more information on how to identify your company’s trade secrets, please read our next blog titled “How do I Identify my Company’s Trade Secrets?”
- Review your agreements you have with your employees. Unfortunately, many trade secret thefts result from an employee stealing information and taking it to a competitor. Thus, your non-compete and non-disclosure agreements should be reviewed to ensure that employees, vendors and other parties with access to your company’s trade secrets are obligated to maintain confidentiality. It is also important to limit access to your business’s trade secrets only to parties that must have access to perform their job duties.
- Update and strengthen your security measures. You must vigilant in how you store trade secrets. For example, proprietary information that is in paper form should be stored in a locked cabinet and/or office that is closely monitored. If your trade secrets are stored in a digital format, it is imperative that your security measures will deter and prevent cyber-hackers.
If you want to ensure that your trade secrets are being properly protected, contact one of our business attorneys for help. The Swenson Law Firm is located in Sacramento County and we proudly serve businesses of all sizes from all over the State of California. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with matters such as trademarks, defending lawsuits, business formation, contract negotiations, hiring employees, and protecting your intellectual property. With our years of complex business trial and litigation experience, we are an effective, efficient and affordable choice in representing you at the bargaining table and in the courtroom.