Many businesses rely on keeping trade secrets confidential. Coca-Cola has successfully kept their formula secret for many years. Apple and Samsung have been embroiled in a lengthy trade secret battle over phones and tablets. Whether your business relies on a process, device, formula, design, or particular know-how that you want kept secret, the California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA) provides protection to owners and prohibits misappropriation of the trade secrets of the business. The law also provides owners with remedies in cases where trade secrets are stolen.

Protection of your trade secrets

Take appropriate action to keep your intellectual property secrets from becoming public information or from being stolen. You may need to engage in litigation to protect your business from competitors illegally using your trade secrets.

Some things you can do to protect your business include the following:

  • Draft and enforce internal controls to guard your secrets. Not all employees need to know all details of all aspects and secrets of your business. Keep the secrets as private as you can and only release details to those who absolutely must know the information. If sensitive information is stored on computers, change the passwords that allow access frequently.
  • Require employees to sign confidentiality, non-disclosure or non-compete agreements. Having an employee sign a confidentiality agreement is a good idea, but you need to take this a step further and ensure that the document is explained to the newcomer.
  • Be firm about enforcing your policy. Do not ever give the appearance of not caring about your sensitive material.

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