The disclosure of trade secrets present potential dangers to businesses, large and small. Not only can it paralyze a company’s competitive advantage, but it can put all intellectual property at risk.
Trade secret litigation is on the rise. Industries need intellectual protection now more than ever. Unfortunately, trade secrets laws are not well-established in the shadow of patent laws. It wasn’t until 2016 that Congress passed further legislation to prevent trade secret misappropriation and other issues.
Keeping a trade secret safe
Businesses often struggle with keeping trade secrets private. With more employees and business partners, the risk for a leak increases. Coca Cola’s technique is rather smart, which involves only two people knowing the exact formula at once. However, this is not realistic for all companies.
There are more manageable ways to practice trade secret safety, such as:
- Keeping robust records
- Marking information and documents as confidential
- Restricting and tracking access to the information
- Staying up-to-date on modern techniques
- Maintaining computer security
- Having employees and contractors sign non-disclosure agreements
Trade secret litigation
While it is necessary to take precautions, sometimes extra measures are not enough to protect a trade secret. In this situation, businesses should take action immediately. A prompt response is extremely important for proving the violation of trade secret laws.
The court may order the violator or violators to cease and desist. This prevents them from using that information. In addition, they might have to pay for damages caused by deriving the trade secrets. Depending on the violator, intentional theft could bring on a string of other penalties.
Trade secrets power some of the largest corporations in the United States. Such a small amount of information has a big impact when it’s in the wrong hands. Technology is breaking down protective barriers, but can also be used to a business’s advantage. It’s wise to contact a litigation trial lawyer if you believe your company was illegally put at risk.