You started your business because you wanted to bring something different or special to your industry in the form of a product or service. To maintain your competitive edge, you want to preserve your trade secrets and prevent them from getting into the wrong hands.
The World Intellectual Property Organization defines trade secrets as information that is commercially valuable, known by a small group of people and protected by the holder of the information. The following tips can help you protect your trade secrets and your business’ interests.
Identify your trade secrets
Identify every piece of information your business wants to protect. Then, create a system for identifying any new information that your business wants to keep secret.
Monitor stored information
Analyze how your business currently stores information and how you store information regarding your trade secrets. This audit of your business information should include all laptop and desktop computers as well as hard copies.
Train employees and team members
Have any employees who have access to your trade secrets participate in training on how to protect this information. You may also want to require your employees to sign non-disclosure agreements as well as a company policy that covers the proper protection and handling of your trade secrets.
You should also be careful about disclosing any information to outside vendors who interact with your business regularly. Carefully monitoring these interactions, as well as your policies for your employees, can help you keep your trade secrets confidential information on a long-term basis.