Some of the most important assets owned by your company are the specific things that set you apart from the competition. While this can include different types of physical property, it could also include intangible assets that you may not be able to see and touch, yet they could be critical to your success. An example of this is trade secrets. This includes different types of intellectual property that support your competitive advantage.
There are legal options available to you through which you can secure and protect your trade secrets. As a business owner, you will benefit from carefully evaluating your needs and taking the appropriate steps to ensure that your assets, including your intangible and intellectual property, remain in the right hands. By doing this, you can lay the foundation for your continued success well into the future.
Steps to protecting your trade secrets
The specific steps you can take to protect your trade secrets depend on the nature of your intellectual property and how you implemented it into your regular business operations. Practical steps that will allow you to better understand your options, identify potential legal needs and protect your company include the following:
- Identify the specific types of intellectual property that may need protection.
- Label all documents that contain private and important information.
- Carefully monitor the places where your business stores private information.
- Secure all computers and limit those who have access to computers.
- Limit the information you share with outside vendors.
- Have security and limit the access the public has to your building.
- Carefully train employees and have appropriate clauses in your employment contracts.
One of the most practical ways you can protect your trade secrets is to implement non-compete and non-disclosure clauses in your contracts with employees. It is also prudent to be careful and intentional about the number of employees who have direct access to any valuable and closely held information.
Experienced guidance is also critical
When navigating the process of protecting your trade secrets, you can benefit from the experienced guidance of a legal professional. A thorough assessment of your company’s operations and needs from outside counsel can help you understand the specific steps you can take to properly secure your long-term interests. Trade secrets are some of the most valuable property held by your company, and their security should be a primary goal for any California business owner.