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Protecting trade secrets in California

Business owners and entrepreneurs in California might be interested in learning about the different ways to protect trade secrets from infringement. Trade secrets may be described as information, methods or formulas that provide an enterprise with a competitive advantage. Protecting the rights to this intellectual property is the one of the primary components to a company's ability to sustain success. Breaches in these rights typically occur inadvertently, according to experts, as opposed to retaliation from an employee or competitor.

Companies need to protect the effort, capital and time invested in developing trade secrets that are often essential to maintaining profitable operations. Implementing a policy to regulate confidential information is often an effective strategy for protecting the company's trade secrets. According to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, the enterprise is required to make reasonable efforts to maintain the secrecy of the information under the circumstances. Trade secrets may be protected by law when the business owner makes obvious efforts to protect the valuable information.

Maintaining documentation that is explicitly labeled as confidential information is a clear and effective step towards to protecting trade secrets. The information should also be made inaccessible to individuals not privy to the confidential data. Employing a password or fragmenting the message are also strategies that business owners can use to protect their intellectual property. The confidentiality policy should be made available to all employees in the orientation handout. Email reminders and refresher seminars are recommended as well.

Business owners and entrepreneurs who have been victimized by trade infringement may benefit from contacting a lawyer. Legal counsel may be able to protect the trade secret and help business owners recover restitution to account for the ensuing damages caused by the shared information.

Source:, "How to Protect Your Trade Secrets", January 04, 2015

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