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Keeping your edge: Protecting trade secrets from theft

Many businesses in Texas, and throughout the U.S., have trade secrets, which contribute to their operation and success. Sometimes, a business’ competitors may seek to obtain this information through nefarious means in order to catch up or gain a competitive advantage in the market. At The Jackson Law Firm, we often consult with businesses that have information that must be kept confidential. In this post then, we will discuss trade secrets and how they can be protected.

In general, trade secrets are confidential devices, techniques or information that a company uses to manufacture, distribute, sell or advertise its products. This could include food recipes or beverage formulas, as well as manufacturing techniques or marketing strategies. When the owner of these types of information makes an effort to keep them confidential, they may be protected by federal trade secret law. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, this law prohibits the theft or unauthorized disclosure of trade secrets.

Although the trade secret theft is prohibited, it can, and does still occur. There are a number of steps that you can take to protect your trade secrets, however. Some of the most common methods for safeguarding secret information include the following:

  •        Marking sensitive documents as confidential
  •        Maintaining computer and network security
  •        Requiring employees to sign nondisclosure agreements
  •        Locking secret materials and information away after business hours

You may also choose take further pains to ensure your sensitive information remains confidential. This could include keeping secret materials or information in a bank vault, limiting employees’ access to sensitive information, and not disclosing which employees have knowledge and access to this information.

For more information about the theft of trade secrets, please visit our business litigation page.

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