Many companies owe their commercial success to their unique trade secrets; whether it’s the Coca-Cola secret recipe or the KFC’s eleven secret herbs and spices, or even a proprietary method for making a certain part or product in a certain kind of way. Protecting a trade secret and keeping it out of the wrong hands(within the company) or competition can be vital to the continued success of the business.
One of the simplest steps to protecting trade secrets for companies is to have employees sign confidentiality agreements. Such steps help to ensure a contractual protection of the company’s trade secrets. Also visitors who are given access to a company’s trade secret should not be left out of the loop. They should sign non-disclosure agreements.
Access to certain information that could be termed “confidential” of a company should be restricted. This is important in other to make sure of the following;
- Help establish a business’s stance that they have valuable trade secrets
- Provide a separate cause of action against a person who violates a non-disclosure agreement, even if a court determines the information was not a trade secret but merely confidential or proprietary.
It is important for business owners to value their company’s trade secrets and take the time to identify and protect them. Identifying intellectual property makes a company more valuable and competitive. Business owners should also see and value their trade secrets as assets of the company, not just a mere concept/phenomenon that distinguishes the company from all competition. Adequate measures should be taken to protect trade secrets in other to stay relevant in the market niche.
Also, unlike other forms of intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks, organizations cannot register their trade secrets with the government for protection. The only way to ensure the protection of a trade secret is to keep the information as discreet as possible.(It is no more a secret when it’s public knowledge).
Finally, Lawyers within this practice area can help their clients protect trade secrets and proprietary information. It is important to hire the services of an experienced lawyer to prevent misappropriation of trade secrets.(in other words, stories that touch the heart but get nowhere in the court of law…..)
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