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Protecting your trade secret: What to know

You have trade secrets that make your company what it is today. You've hired plenty of employees over the years, but for the most part, they were not privy to the vital workings of your business.

Flash forward to the most recent group of employees, and you see when the troubles all began. You caught one in a part of the building he or she should not have been in. You saw another on a different employee's computer. Perhaps not surprisingly, your trade secret was leaked, leaving you with a mess on your hands.

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act of 1990 is there to protect your trade secrets. To have protection for your trade secret, you need to show that it is adequately guarded, is known by only the owners of the business, is expensive, is difficult to develop, is hard to recreate and provides you with a distinct advantage over your competition. If your competitors would pay to use your information that is generally kept private, then there is a good chance that it's a trade secret.

If an employee illegally accesses a trade secret and exposes it in violation of his or her contract, then you can take legal steps to correct the situation. You normally can access compensatory damages, lost development and research costs, lost profits and other financial losses that have resulted from the trade secret being exposed.

Be reasonable in your workplace and limit how many people have access to anything that contains a trade secret. Confidentiality is your best friend when protecting an important secret.

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Costello Law Corporation
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