Protecting Your Company’s Competitive Edge: Update

Posted by Benjamin I. Fink on

On April 26th, we celebrate World Intellectual Property Day. Why would Berman Fink Van Horn, a business law firm, celebrate this day? The answer is trade secrets. While there are many types of intellectual property, our firm spends a lot of time advising clients about and litigating disputes involving one particular type of intellectual property: trade secrets.
 
Today, in honor of World Intellectual Property Day, we’ve compiled this update to share with you practical steps that every business owner or manager, regardless of their company’s size, can take to protect their company’s competitive edge, including the following:
 
Assess the risk of trade secret theft by a departing employee
It is critical to determine if a departing employee had access to proprietary information and, if so, what information he or she had access to. If the information is of the type that could be used to compete unfairly, trade secret theft may be more likely to occur. 
Another key factor in determining the risk of trade secret theft is the employee’s role in the company. Someone departing from the research and development team is much more likely to be a threat to steal sensitive information than someone from the finance team. Likewise, a sales person is much more likely to take information than a clerical employee.
Click Here for additional factors to consider.
 
Protect information within your organization
Simple steps that every business owner or manager can take to protect information within your organization include:
  • Limit access to confidential information and trade secrets to employees with a need-to-know.
  • Implement computer, e-mail and internet policies that govern employees’ access and use of company systems.
  • Train employees to prevent the inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information.
  • Implement robust physical and electronic security measures.
  • Have contingency plans and procedures to address when any leaks are detected.
With counsel from a good legal advisor, appropriate measures can be implemented to protect your company’s competitive edge. As always, please let us know if we can help.