Sunday, November 23, 2014

Adequately Protected Trade Secrets Can Keep You Out of Court... and a winner in court.

by Mark L. Krotoski, Esq.
Trade secrets can be among the most valuable assets a company has. According to one study, "Two thirds of enterprises’ information portfolio value comes from the secrets they create."

One trade secret can lead to many products. As a unique form of intellectual property, trade secrets can be vital not only to a company and its employees, but also to other jobs, investments, an industry, the economy and, depending on the trade secrets, even national security.

Two Key Questions for Trade Secret Owners
Given the importance of trade secrets, trade secret owners should ask two key questions:
(1) How many trade secrets do you have?
(2) Are your trade secrets adequately protected?

Many companies have trade secrets which can generate substantial value for the company. Regrettably, experience has shown that large and small companies have not taken the steps necessary to protect them. When the unexpected misappropriation occurs, it is clearly too late...

A culture of protection can establish the tone within the company to safeguard the trade secrets. A layered approach to security has proven effective in past cases to mitigate any misappropriation and to establish the reasonableness of the security measures. An objective assessment of the measures safeguarding the trade secrets can assist in determining the reasonableness u der trade secret law. Most importantly, companies should develop a trade secret protection plan in advance of any misappropriation.
So, as a trade secret owner, how do you answer the two questions? How confident are you that your trade secrets are reasonably protected and will survive court scrutiny if that ever becomes necessary? (more)

If you need help answering these questions, call me. An information security evaluation by an independent outside specialist can help with answers and will count toward fulfilling the adequacy requirement.