If your company wants to protect its trade secrets, it is essential to properly document them in either paper or electronic form. This process is important because it can provide evidence that your business viewed and treated the information as secrets. Documentation shows you identified your trade secrets and treated them as proprietary and secret information.
Your company’s trade secrets – in paper or electronic format – should be accompanied by a confidentiality notice. Each page should be stamped “Confidential.” The notice should notify all parties that the document includes trade secrets and that access to the information is limited by your business. It should prohibit the information from be copied, distributed or otherwise disclosed.
Non-written disclosures must also be made if trade secrets are being discussed during meetings. It is preferable that all parties attending the meeting be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement. Further, trade secrets should only be discussed to the extent necessary. Before any discussions regarding trade secrets begin, notices and disclosures should be made verbally as well as reduced to writing.
The directors, officers and other key personnel of your business should routinely assess the company’s information to determine whether it should be maintained as trade secrets. As your company grows, so should your efforts to maintain their secret nature. When in doubt, it is safer to err on the side of protecting and maintaining the secrecy of your business’s information.
The Swenson Law Firm is located in Sacramento County and we proudly serve businesses of all sizes from all over the State of California. Contact us today to learn more about how we can assist you with matters such as trademarks, defending lawsuits, business formation, contract negotiations, hiring employees, and protecting your intellectual property. With our years of complex business trial and litigation experience, we are an effective, efficient and affordable choice in representing you at the bargaining table and in the courtroom.