Keeping your secret secret
My previous tip discussed the general definition/qualifications for information to be considered a “trade secret.” The next logical step is protecting that trade secret. The good news is that trade secrets are protected without any procedural formalities such as registration or certificates. Another happy fact is that a trade secret can be protected for a potentially infinite duration. For these reasons, the protection of trade secrets may appear to be particularly attractive for SMEs. There are, however, some conditions that may turn out to be more difficult and costly than simply marking something “TOP SECRET” and filing it away. Though the circumstances will dictate what steps are necessary to ensure that a trade secret does not lose its protection, in general, the information should be disclosed only on a “need to know” basis, and people who are apprised of the information should sign a document acknowledging the confidentiality. Please contact us for advice on specific steps you should take to protect your company’s trade secrets.