Most business owners are aware that it is important to protect their company’s trade secrets, but they aren’t sure what trade secrets they actually have that need protection. Below are examples of items that could be trade secrets:
- Engineering information, methods or processes
- Computer programs
- Financial information
- Customer or vendor lists
- Budgets and methods used to calculate pricing
- Patent applications
- Business plans
- Marketing data
To qualify as a trade secret, the information must not be known to the public. It must be a secret that confers a potential or actual economic or business advantage to your company. The terms “trade secret,” “confidential,” and “proprietary” are often used interchangeably, but in many contexts they do not mean the same thing. Thus, when drafting agreements it is imperative that you do not use terms that can be construed differently by the court.
Your company may have confidential information that does not rise to the level of being a trade secret, even though it is kept private within your company. Additionally, if you have proprietary information that is copyrighted or protected by a trademark or patent, it can be made public without losing protection. Thus, it is important to confer with a knowledgeable attorney to discuss how to best protect your proprietary information.
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.