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How to Protect Your Trade Secrets

7th September 2023 by Tiff Elmer

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Trade secrets are valuable assets for all businesses of all sizes. They can give you a competitive edge, help you attract and retain customers, and increase your business worth. Some paradox examples, in that the trade secrets are famously known for being unknown is KFC’s blend of herbs and spices, McDonalds’ Big Mac special sauce and Coca Cola’s recipe are all kept as trade secrets.

However, trade secrets can also be easily lost or stolen and so it is important steps are taken to protect them.

Here are some tips on how to protect your trade secrets:

  1. Identify your trade secrets. The first step is to identify what information you consider to be a trade secret. This could include anything from your product formulas to your marketing strategies.
  2. Mark your trade secrets as confidential. Once you’ve identified your trade secrets, you need to mark them as confidential. This can be done by using a confidentiality notice on all documents that contain trade secret information.
  3. Limit access to your trade secrets. Only people who need to know your trade secrets should have access to them. This means you need to implement a system for controlling access to sensitive information.
  4. Use non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). NDAs are contracts that legally bind people to keep your trade secrets confidential. You should have all employees, contractors, and business partners sign NDAs before they have access to your trade secrets.
  5. Implement physical and technological security measures. You should also implement physical and technological security measures to protect your trade secrets. This could include things like locking file cabinets, using passwords, and installing security software.
  6. Educate your employees about trade secret protection. Your employees are your first line of defence when it comes to protecting your trade secrets. Make sure they understand what trade secrets are and why they’re important.
  7. Review your trade secret protection measures regularly. The world of business is constantly changing, so you need to review your trade secret protection measures regularly to make sure they’re still effective.

By following these tips, you can help protect your trade secrets and keep your business competitive.

Here are some additional tips for protecting your trade secrets:

  • Keep your trade secrets in a secure location.
  • Encrypt your computer files.
  • Shred documents that contain trade secret information.
  • Be careful about what you say in public.
  • Be aware of the risks of social media.
  • Monitor your competitors for signs of trade secret theft.

If you believe that your trade secrets have been stolen, you should take legal action and instruct a solicitor immediately who can advise you what to do. You may be able to recover damages and prevent your competitors from using your trade secrets.

Protecting your trade secrets is an important part of doing business. By following these tips, you can help keep your valuable assets safe.

If you would like to discuss any of the above further, please contact Tiff Elmer at t.elmer@laceyssolicitors.co.uk or on 01202 377814.

 

Tiff Elmer

Solicitor — Corporate and Commercial

Direct dial: 01202 377814

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Tiff joined Laceys in July 2021 as a paralegal and qualified as a Solicitor in 2023 deciding to specialise in Corporate and Commercial law. Tiff has relocated back home to Bournemouth after living in Bristol for four years where she completed her LPC at the University of Law, and worked in a large commercial law firm as a trade mark paralegal. Before moving to Bristol, Tiff completed her Law LLB Hons degree at Southampton Solent University in 2016 graduating with a 1st.

Tiff has particular experience in intellectual property law and assists her team to advise a range of businesses in various sectors in relation to intellectual property matters and commercial contracts, and is enjoying expanding her knowledge and skills within the commercial field. 

Outside of work Tiff enjoys being outdoors by going for long runs, hikes and paddle boarding around the beautiful South Coast with family and friends.

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