There are probably a few Sacramento business owners who think they don't have anything that needs intellectual property protection.
In that regard, they're wrong.
The fact is, any business has at least a few trade secrets. A trade secret is a process, formula, device or other business information that is kept secret from those outside of the business. As long as it derives some economic value from not being generally known and is the subject of reasonable efforts to keep it secret, information is eligible for protection as a trade secret.
Here are four things that may qualify as a trade secret that just about every business has:
- Customer list: Just by doing business, you've come up with a list of people who buy what you're selling or are likely to do business with you. Your rivals, naturally, would love to get their hands on that.
- Training: The way you train your employees to be efficient, productive workers is a key part of your overall success strategy.
- Costs and pricing: Through relationships you have with vendors and suppliers, you've negotiated prices for things that are not what your competitors pay, and that helps you succeed.
- Sales data: Overall sales volume, demographics and anything else that would give your competition a blueprint on how to do your business would qualify for trade secret protection.
The overall point we're trying to make here is that just about every business has some intellectual property considerations it needs to address. You may find it worth your while to talk to an attorney about these issues.
Source: Forbes, "Obama Campaign Trade Secret Snafu and the 4 Trade Secrets Owned By Every Business," Jess Collen, July 12, 2012