One of the most important ways you can protect your trade secrets is to have your employees sign confidentiality or non-disclosure agreements. It is important to make it clear to your employees what their obligations are with respect to protecting the company’s trade secrets and confidential information. You should confer with a local business attorney regarding the enforceability of such agreements in the applicable jurisdiction.
When a new employee joins your business team, it is important to complete the following tasks:
- Explain your business’s policies regarding trade secrets and have your employee acknowledge in writing that he or she was provided a copy of the policy
- Ask your new employee if he or she executed a confidentiality or non-disclosure agreement with a former employer. You should ask if the employee retained any information from a prior employer.
- You should instruct your employee not to disclose any trade secrets of a prior employer, but obtain general information regarding the work the employee performed for the prior employer
If you have concerns regarding your new hire after discussing the above topics, contact a lawyer to discuss the best approach for handling the situation. You are better off dealing with concerns before a dispute arises with the employee’s prior employer than waiting for a lawsuit to be filed. This may include having your legal counsel contact the prior employer to request a copy of the non-disclosure agreement so you can review its terms and ensure that it is not violated.
If you are interested in learning more about honoring or enforcing non-disclosure agreements or how we can assist you with your business-related needs, contact the knowledgeable lawyers at The Swenson Law Firm to schedule an appointment.