Guarding Trade Secrets

trade-secrets-amazingbizsecretsMost companies GUARD trade secrets the best they can.  Through this desire to protect their success secrets is the reason it’s sometimes difficult for you to succeed. You must not only know the basics of business, but if you wish to compete with another company or market, then you must dig, scratch and climb the highest mountains.  Seek out great mentors whenever possible.

Companies fear competition as it eats into their profits- therefore they GUARD TRADE SECRETS.  If it took you long hours and years to accomplish success, then you may want to guard your secrets as well.

How should YOUR businesses be protecting YOUR trade secrets?
Adding simple computer features like security software and computer logouts and locks can reduce your exposure.

Companies should also limit access to sensitive company information to certain employees. Train employees to safeguard company information by locking it away after the workday, to keep and frequently change passwords on their computers and mobile devices, to avoid suspicious links and emails, and to shred hard documents.

Additionally, the use of external hard drives and thumb drives can make it easy to transport data, but also leaves it unsecured. It might be wise to prohibit their use can DECREASE the loss of the company’s trade secrets.

Have nondisclosure agreements with contractors, consultants, suppliers, vendors and other business partners that set forth the terms of the disclosure of any confidential information, including what is considered to be confidential, the term of the agreement, and the provisions for a breach of the agreement arising from an improper disclosure of trade secrets.

Employment agreements should also contain nondisclosure provisions to protect confidential information.

What does the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 mean for businesses?
Although the DTSA may provide added protections for companies, you still need to take precautions:

It May Benefit You to Guard Trade Secrets.

■  Limit exposure to certain employees. Educate your employees to protect the company’s trade secrets. Your trade secrets could be compromised by an ‘innocent’ social media post of a picture taken in a production area or discussions in unsecure locations like restaurants and airports.  Explain this to your employees – you never know who is listening.

■  You should eliminate unnecessary visitors or limit them from vulnerable ares of your company.  This policy can decrease the loss of trade secrets tremendously.

■  Revise employee agreements to fulfill the notice requirement of the DTSA for trade secret disclosure to the government. Under the new law, companies must provide notice of whistleblower and retaliation protections for reporting suspected trade secret violations to both current employees and contractors.

If this NOTICE is not provided, the company may lose exemplary damages and attorney’s fees in an action against that employee. You should also include a procedure in your company policies for an employee to report suspected trade secret violations to government officials.

Review and update current company trade secret policies to comply with the DTSA, taking into account soon-to-be former employees that may take trade secrets from the company and new employees that could bring trade secrets from a previous job.

It is uncertain how the DTSA will impact future litigation. However, businesses should review current agreements to comply with the new law. Trade secrets are valuable assets that must be protected. Creating policies to safeguard trade secrets within the organization can help to protect them. Get more information here.

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