Trying to run a competitive business isn’t easy. Not only do you need to have a good concept, but you also need professional staff and resources. It could take you years to develop all the information necessary to run a competitive business, and you obviously don’t want to just share that hard-earned knowledge with a competitor.
Your company’s trade secrets have protection under both state law and federal intellectual property laws. Any information not readily known to the public that gives your company an advantage in business might be a trade secret.
How do you protect those secrets while doing business?
Limit which of your employees has access to your trade secrets
Information that you openly share with multiple people likely won’t stay a secret for long. Trade secrets often require careful protection. Limiting who has access to your trade secrets is one way to protect them. Some companies even go so far as to only give individual employees access to a part of their trade secret so that no one worker knows everything.
Have your employees sign paperwork if they learn about your trade secrets
You don’t have to have every employee who takes a job with your company sign non-disclosure and non-compete agreements.
However, you may want to have these crucial restrictive covenants included in the employment contract of anyone with access to your trade secrets. That way, if they ever share that information with others or try to use it to start their own business, you have the option of taking legal action against them.
Use digital methods to backup and encrypt your trade secrets
Storing important information in a filing cabinet isn’t the more secure option. Instead, modern technology can help you protect your trade secrets.
You can store crucial data on the cloud or using secure external hard drives. In cases where the information has extreme value and you worry about corporate espionage, technology could also help you encrypt your trade secrets so that they don’t make sense to others even if they manage to gain access to them.
Taking steps to protect your trade secrets now will make it easier for you to show the value of those secrets if someone violates your intellectual property rights in the future.