How to Protect Your Company’s Trade Secrets

Trade SecretHaving a relationship with a small business lawyer is often something entrepreneurs don’t think about until a crisis happens. Rather than having to rush and find a firm to take your case, make sure you have a great law firm on your side from the beginning. Consider this situation.

 

An employee gives trade secrets to a competitor. Sometimes, the employee is tricked into divulging secrets. When I worked in brand management, I remember receiving phone calls from someone pretending to be a fellow employee wanting to partner with us. He just needed a “little bit of information” to make sure it was a good fit before getting other employees involved. Thankfully, I recognized it as fraud and hung up.

 

In other cases, companies will buy “secret reports” from third party companies that contain copies of your upcoming product launches, marketing calendar and other information that could be dangerous in the hands of the competition. While some organizations buy it just to understand leaked information about their own company, others use it to create competitive products or marketing plans to make your launches less successful. A law firm like Boyes and Farina in South Florida could help you mitigate these situations and protect your trade secrets by filing an injunction or even helping you sue the offending employee if he or she gave secret information willingly.

 

To avoid your information showing up in the latest secret report, making sure your employees know the difference between trade secrets and public information is the first step. Consider adding this to new hire training and provide a refresher course as needed.

 

The second step is educating them on time and place. We often discuss company business when we’re in the office. That’s fine. The mistake comes when we continue those conversations with our co-workers over lunch, while at the airport waiting on a flight or on public transportation coming into work. Because we’re chatting with the same people, we forget that the setting has changed. You never know who could be listening in, so it’s best to keep business conversations within the office or when you know you’re alone.

 

Lastly, have a sensitive document disposal program. Some companies have been known to raid the trash of the competition hoping to find something important that a careless employee threw away. Your plan may include having two sets of garbage cans, one for materials that can be thrown away publically and one for sensitive documents that go to the shredder on a regular basis. Taking these necessary steps will ensure that your company’s confidential information stays in-house.

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About Dequiana Jackson

Dequiana Jackson, Founder of Inspired Marketing, Inc., helps overachieving women entrepreneurs conquer limiting beliefs and create marketing plans that grow their businesses. This includes one-on-one marketing plan development, digital product creation, web design and content marketing. Dequiana is the author of Know Your Business: How to Attract Ideal Clients & Sell More and runs the award-winning blog, Entrepreneur-Resources.net.

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