Trade secrets can offer broad and long-lasting protection of the core aspects of what makes one business more successful than its competitors. The problem is trade secrets require vigilant care to keep that advantage. The owner of a trade secret must make reasonable efforts under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. Different industries and different types of information might require their own nuances to keep information secret although more protection and safeguards are always better. Recent court decisions guide how to maintain information as a trade secret: impose a confidentiality policy and restrict access to electronic documents; require all employees to sign confidentiality agreements; install monitoring software on every computer to track employees’ actions and protect the software by giving only a few employees access; instruct employees how to keep information safe; and store records on encrypted servers to which few employees have access. Sometimes putting information in a safe is reasonable for securing certain areas of a facility where the secret process operates. Constant Vigilance!
Ned T. Himmelrich
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