The most important group of company assets is its intellectual property (“IP”). IP includes trade secrets, patents, trademarks, copyrights, drawings, computer programs, electronic media, research, data, samples, pricing information, business plans, verbal communications and other proprietary business information. IP requires special consideration and attention in all business transactions, beginning with a client and vendor relationships and ending with employee contracts.
Unlike copyright, trademark, and patent protection, there is no government registration for trade secrets and company “know how”. Many companies overlook the need to protect this information. Trade secrets need protection because they are not generally known to the public and comprise exclusive “know how” of economic value, generated by people who wish to protecting it. Businesses must protect their “know how” to achieve a leading edge over their competitors.
Trade secret protection extends to designs, formulas, strategy, technique, practice, instrument, patterns, process or even sometimes a customer list. However, trade secrets must not be original, unique, or novel. Rather, most businesses refer to their trade secrets as “confidential information.”
A trade secret may be as easily lost as it is created. Trade secrets only retain their protected status for as long as their secrecy is preserved. Thus, it is important for business owners to make a reasonable effort to maintain the secrecy of its confidential information.
Best Protection for Trade Secrets
Trade secrets must remain “secret” or confidential in order to remain protected. If the trade secret is inadvertently disclosed, it may lose its status as a trade secret. Companies often realize too late that a lack of written agreements has jeopardized their trade secrets and the availability of legal remedies. The best protection for trade secrets is to have policies and procedures in place prior to disclosing trade secrets to employees, contractors, vendors, clients and business partners. Written and signed agreements are necessary in order for a company to have the full range of protection and legal remedies to prevent disclosure of trade secrets. A business can protect its trade secrets through the use of confidentiality agreements, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements.
Proper Trade Secret Procedures and Protocols
Experienced business attorneys can help you achieve trade secret protection by ensuring that all requirements are met for secrecy of company assets. Attorney at Filippov Law Group, LLC assist many businesses in maintaining secrecy with proper procedures and protocols. Depending on the proprietary information, non-disclosure agreements or company non disclosure policies may be necessary. We can weigh and analyze the different procedures and confidential information to fit the needs of your company. We provide services such as non-disclosure agreements, non-compete agreements, due diligence investigations, trade secret identification, employee counseling upon entrance and at exit, and employee training manuals. Attorney at Filippov Law Group, LLC can analyze company procedures or confidential information policies and agreement forms against the factors courts use to evaluate protection of trade secrets. Whether a trade secret would be best protected by utilizing non-disclosure agreements or litigation, we can advise on what is needed to keep your proprietary information confidential. We can also advise on what protocols and procedures are needed to implement and maintain trade secrets. Some of the additional services we provide are trade secret identification, due diligence investigations, employee/compactor on-boarding and exit counseling, non-disclosure or non-competition agreements, and employee training policies.
Don’t wait until after you lose your trade secret to seek legal advice. Our firm can help you achieve trade secret protection by ensuring all the requirements are met for secrecy.
How does your company protect its trade secrets? Are you putting the effort in to have policies and procedures in place prior to disclosing trade secrets to employees, contractors, vendors, clients and business partners? If not, contact us today for a no-obligation assessment of your overall legal needs and risk management program. Call us at (832) 305-5529 or email us at email@example.com to schedule an appointment.
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