Remember the Motorola engineer who was nabbed at O'Hare with confidential trade secrets of Motorola on his way to China to sell the technology to a Chinese competitor of Motorola?
"In today's world,the most valuable thing that anyone has is technology...The most important thing this country can do is to protect its trade secrets" ~ Judge Castillo, Presiding Judge in the Motorola case
This case is an explicit reminders of the need for every business to protect their trade secrets. These are some suggestions to help assess your need to protect your trade secrets.
Identification: What are the trade secrets that are the most important to your business? These could be a system or technique you have developed, software, or even a list of your customers. What are the business assets that, if lost, would cripple your business.
Protect Your Secrets: What do you do to protect your business trade secrets? You should only disclose them to those employees who need to know the secrets. Are those secrets kept in a password encrypted computer with limited access.
What is the Your Trade Secret Business Policy: Does your business have a written policy that dictates how employees handle confidential business information, that the company owns intellectual property produced by employees during their employment, and defines an employee's duty to protect Trade Secrets. Non-compete and non-solicitationclauses can be a part of this document. Do you require employees to sign a copy of the policy, and reviewit with them during an exit interview if they are terminated.
Non-Disclosure Agreements.NDA's should be in place with all employees and key vendors and
business associates. In particular, NDA's should be executed with strategic partners in which key
intellectual property is being developed or shared.
If your business has trade secrets, you need to protect them like the family jewels. At Bellas & Wachowski we have helped clients with taking the necessary steps to protect the trade secrets of many businesses.