Many businesses have trade secrets that allow them to succeed and set themselves apart from their competitors. These are secrets that are not known to parties outside of your business. Coca-Cola’s “secret recipe” is a perfect example. At any point in time, only a handful of people know the secret to Coca-Cola’s success in the soft drink industry. Coca-Cola has even gone as far as protecting its coveted trade secret in a locked vault.
When trade secrets are stolen, businesses can lose an important part of their identity. Could you imagine a world where Coca-Cola’s competitors used its secret recipe?
If you are a business owner, there are certain steps you could take to protect your trade secrets. Our five tips might reduce the chances of your trade secrets being stolen.
- Carry out a risk assessment. You could first identify the aspects of your business that need to be kept under lock and key. Once you have identified your trade secrets, you can determine how they are currently protected. The policies and procedures for protecting confidential information should be understood by employees with access to the information.
- Restrict physical and electronic access to trade secrets. You will need to find ways to restrict electronic access to your trade secrets. The same is true of physical copies of this information. There are many, many, many methods you could utilize to achieve these goals. Documents could also be properly labeled to ensure it is clear there they contain confidential information that is protected by law.
- Use non-disclosure agreements. Confidentiality agreements could keep your employees from sharing trade secrets with others. These “non-disclosure agreements” could also be signed by contractors or third parties who may have access to trade secrets.
- Be careful during the hiring process. You could conduct thorough background checks to avoid hiring employees that may be at greater risk of stealing your trade secrets. In addition, you could emphasize the importance of nondisclosure to your new hires.
- Hire an attorney. An attorney could help you draft important documents and measures for protecting your trade secrets from theft. In addition, an attorney could help you mount a legal response to instances of theft.
Questions About Protecting Your Trade Secrets? Call Our New Jersey Business Litigation Lawyers
This is not an exhaustive list of measures you could undertake to protect important information, but rather five suggestions to get the process started. You should hire an attorney to help you develop an effective strategy for protecting trade secrets. The New Jersey business litigation lawyers at Garland & Mason, L.L.C could help your business protect its most important intellectual property assets.