The misappropriation of trade secrets can lead businesses to face serious legal disputes in addition to unfair competition that puts their business at risk.
For example, the California-based fitness tech company Jawbone experienced significant consequences in such a case. They claimed former employees stole trade secrets and gave them to a rival employer, Fitbit. This case has been going on for nearly two years. However, it could soon come to an end since Jawbone has filed bankruptcy because of the losses they suffered.
Connecticut business owners must understand the risks they could face if they do not protect their trade secrets. However, it is even more important to understand the ways they can secure their trade secrets to minimize and avoid these risks.
How can businesses protect their trade secrets?
There are many ways that business owners can take measures to protect their trade secrets. Some strategies may work for some businesses and not for others, and every business will have to customize their strategies to meet their business’s needs.
However, businesses should generally ensure they:
- Create an effective policy: Business owners should establish processes for handling trade secrets securely in the employee handbook. This policy should establish how the business will store, label and manage trade secrets. Business owners should also clarify the consequences employees or partners could face for misappropriating trade secrets.
- Monitor the trade secrets: It can be helpful to dedicate a team of trusted, proven employees to supervise the trade secret protection. This could involve surveillance of cybersecurity measures and careful restriction of access to trade secrets and confidential information.
- Establish confidentiality agreements: Creating and enforcing confidentiality agreements can help prevent current or former employees from sharing trade secrets with competitors.
Business owners often already have a lot on their plates. However, they must make sure they protect their trade secrets and revise their strategies as needed to preserve the future of their business.