Trade secrets are information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors. There are no government forms to file with trade secrets, you have to keep the information a secret and take reasonable measures to do so if you want trade secret protection.
Time Required: Ongoing
- Mark all computer files and documents about trade secrets with a confidentiality warning.
- Restrict all access to trade secrets to only people that have a reason to know the information. That reason should only be a reason that benefits you in business.
- Make anybody that you reveal a trade secret to sign a non-disclosure agreement, for example: employees, suppliers, manufacturers, sub-contractors, and component manufacturers.
- Tell all your employees that all trade secrets have to be treated as confidential information even if that employee does not know the trade secret.
- Keep your trade secret information in a restricted and secure area.
- Never think that is enough just to tell everyone that your information is a secret. If you go to court for damages you will have a very weak case.
- All non-disclosure agreements should describe the trade secret, describe how you are allowing the signee to use the trade secret, describe that confidentiality is required, describe what would happen to the signee if they break that confidentiality (dismissal, lawsuits etc), and how long the agreement will last including lasting indefinitely. Use a lawyer to write your non-disclosure agreement.