Why should you consider a strategy to protect your corporate trade secrets?  What can be established as a trade secret and how can this make a difference in your business? Did you know that misappropriation of trade secrets is a much more effective legal strategy in California than a non-compete agreement (which is all but unenforceable)?

If you own a company and have employees you are probably concerned with issues such as employment agreements, trade secrets, non-compete agreements as well as processes and documentation of information that is to be kept company confidential.  Most business professionals will be forced to endure a violation of their corporate or client confidentiality by employees who leave and attempt to use what they’ve learned or take clients and/or company secrets and go into business for themselves.  What steps can you take to reduce those risks, and safeguard intellectual property, proprietary information and trade secret business practices?

What Can Be Considered to be a Trade Secret?

In order to protect your corporate trade secrets you have to know what can be considered to be a trade secret and the steps required to protect it.

Corporate trade secrets are, by their nature, proprietary internal information and developed assets such as:

  • Software, algorithms, computer programs or original technology
  • Supplier lists
  • Customer lists
  • Industry specific technical and/or market knowledge
  • Specific unique processes including targeted marketing strategies,
  • Secret recipes and ingredients
  • Intellectual property and inventions which have not yet been patented

Your corporation must limit and control access to trade secrets on a “need-to-know” basis and in a secure environment, locked and labeled file, or password protected limited access system.  Trade secrets must be clearly identified in corporate documents such as the employee handbook, policies and procedures and even employment contracts.

Protect Your Corporate Trade Secrets in San Diego

The Watkins Firm has served as corporate attorneys and general counsel to the San Diego and Southern California business and medical / healthcare community for more than 40 years. We provide sound advice and counsel on how and why the protection of corporate  trade secrets and the confidential information of your San Diego business should be a central focus of your business strategy.

An effective employment contract should be carefully crafted to provide extensive protections which help to ensure that employees cannot take or use your corporate property or customers, or leave your employ and take corporate trade secrets and use them to compete directly against you and/or sell them.

You must take active steps to protect your intellectual property, proprietary processes and trade secrets and identify them as such.  There are steps you can take to prevent an employee from disclosing them or minimize the risk that they can make use of them.

California courts take the misappropriation of trade secrets very seriously.  The Watkins Firm will work with your organization to prepare appropriate policies and procedures, hiring documents, employment contracts and confidentiality agreements to provide maximum protection under the law.  We will advise you on active steps you can take to make it clear to employees that trade secret information which is protected as well as the fact that your company’s trade secrets and property will be aggressively defended.

We invite you to review our recent Podcast Episode 10 – the Importance of a Corporate Attorney as well as the strong recommendations of our clients and contact the Watkins Firm or call 858-535-1511 for a complimentary consultation today. We have more than four decades of experience helping businesses to protect their corporate information, intellectual property and trade secrets.

Contact a Business Law Or Real Estate Attorney Today

To set up a free, no-obligation consultation with our knowledgeable San Diego business lawyers, call us at 858-535-1511 or contact us online.