Trade secrets are the things which set your brand apart from all the rest. They are your aces in the hole, your magic bullet. However, when dealing with government agencies, it may become difficult to hold on to these secrets. Here’s how to protect trade secrets when doing business with government agencies.
While most companies are aware that maintaining control over their electronic and physical security is key, they do not completely understand the necessity or legality of this when dealing with government agencies. This critical safety protocol is becoming increasingly common and in some jurisdictions required by the courts. Japanese courts, for instance, have deemed that for information to be classified as a “kept secret” businesses need to implement restrictions to the access of their physical and electronic information.
Identify and Manage Risks
To have a case for theft of trade secrets by a government agency, first, a business needs to identify what exactly their trade secrets are in the first place. Companies should identify their secrets and create a registry detailing those secrets. Once this registry is completed, the company should take additional steps to ensure these items are properly protected. Once a company has taken these proactive steps, courts tend to favor them with regards to trade secret theft.
The case of Texas Instruments from 1991 is one such example. Two former researchers copied all the firm’s directories and then joined a competitor. The court, in convicting the two ex-employees, found Texas Instruments had made reasonable efforts to secure this information.
One of the best ways a company can protect its trade secrets is through effective training of both employees and third-party vendors. By providing thorough training in how to handle sensitive information, you provide them with an understanding of what is expected of them, as well as the legal ramifications of failing to abide by the standards set by the company.
Your best first step in protecting your company’s trade secrets is to initiate procedures and non-disclosure agreements. Procedures and non-disclosure agreements help create a sense of trust and confidentiality, as your company becomes evidence of the standard of care your firm holds for trade secrets. In addition, these procedures, including documentation of policies, are an effective tool in court, should your secrets be stolen.
Looking to Defend Your Trade Secrets?
Because of the complexity of the law with regards to trade secrets and intellectual property theft, if you are looking to protect your company and its products, you need to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable business law attorney right away.
At Eskander Loshak, we have a combined 15 years of experience in the United States in all facets of business law, including intellectual property and trade secrets. We provide our clients with a tailored representation to help get them the compensation they deserve. Our firm offers unsurpassed customer service and personal dedication to you and your case. So, if you are looking for a law firm as committed to the success of your company as you are, call Eskander Loshak today at 954-334-1122.