Businesses often rely on various resources, including trade secrets, to boost growth and earnings. This form of intellectual property (IP) can give companies unique competitive advantages, setting them apart from other organizations in the same industry. Trade secrets can be crucial to a company’s success, making it essential to protect them through effective strategies.
Efforts to secure trade secrets can work together efficiently if planned systematically, covering areas with risks. Various legal options can help safeguard these IPs, which can function and cover specific access points, including the following:
- Current employees – Whether intentional or not, employees can reveal trade secrets. Organizations can roll out information security and confidentiality training as a preventative measure. The leadership can also mitigate risks by using the hiring process to communicate agreements and onboarding materials about trade secret protection.
- Employees leaving the company – Each company should follow protocols when an employee leaves the organization, including measures to secure emails, accounts and other tools they might have used during their employment. Exit interviews, non-compete agreements and other tools can also help minimize risks.
- Dealings and interactions with business partners – It can help to take time and determine if a business transaction requires non-disclosure agreements or other contracts. These practices can help secure all forms of coordination with external parties.
- Other activities that may pose access issues – It is usual for companies to conduct competitor research. Still, some activities can be unethical and unlawful, posing risks to the organization and others in the industry.
Considering the nature of the business, an effective strategy should have components to address these areas and other channels that can be relevant.
Placing appropriate legal safeguards
Each business can have unique needs, often requiring special arrangements and legal tools to secure its resources. The same goes for trade secrets, which can be challenging to protect, especially if there are details that may lead to complications over time. In these instances, it can be beneficial to seek legal counsel, helping the company determine what approach and legal options are most appropriate.