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How can I keep my trade secrets safe?

One key factor in staying ahead in business is keeping your important trade secrets out of the hands of your competition. After all, if you have put in the work and investment capital to develop a product or a process that will give your company power in the marketplace, you do not want someone else taking it for his or her own profit.

Yet, some of your employees will have access to critical information. And as we know, employees can take their services elsewhere. So what could be done to prevent an employee from taking your intellectual property and giving it or selling it to someone else?

One very important step you can take is to have an employee who is privy to trade secrets sign a nondisclosure agreement. A nondisclosure agreement is a contract wherein an employee promises to keep confidential the critical information to which they have access during the duration of his or her employment.

A standard NDA will generally contain the following:

  • The period of time in which the NDA is enforceable and valid.
  • A description of the responsibilities and obligations of the person being granted access to the confidential information.
  • A delineation of the confidential information pertaining to the NDA.
  • A description of that which is excluded from the confidential information

Additionally, the contract may include other miscellaneous provisions. Should an employee sign a nondisclosure agreement and then use your secret information in an unauthorized manner, you can go to court to ask that they desist based on the NDA. Further, if the breach of confidentiality resulted in your company suffering damages, you may be able to sue the offending party.

If your business has been harmed or compromised due to the theft of your intellectual property, you may wish to have a Florida business litigation attorney act as your representative. The attorney could advise on your best means of recourse and help you seek justice.