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Intellectual property law: How to protect trade secrets

Advanced technology, unstable economies and a fast-changing marketplace has made business in the modern world a highly competitive endeavor. With the convenience and speed that internet research and shopping provides comes tremendous challenges to product makers and business owners who must find ways to stay on top, especially when potential consumers can find hundreds, if not thousands of options in a matter of minutes. California business owners wanting to maximize productivity and profitability will also want to familiarize themselves with intellectual property law that helps protect trade secrets.

The first logical step to take to protect trade secrets is to identify and document them. Any information, system, format, design or other component that gives a particular business an edge over its competitors may be considered a trade secret. The more difficult it would be for outside parties to acquire the information, the better protected it would be. Thus, once a trade secret is identified, the next step is to implement a company police (preferably, in writing) that restricts the use or sharing of the information.

Many company owners ask new employees to sign contracts regarding trade secrets they may learn during the course employment. Any worker who signs the agreement, then shares a trade secret without permission is at risk  should a business owner ever pursue an infringement claim against that person. Unlawful use of trade secrets is a frequent subject of intellectual property law claims, especially when a business owner has suffered bottom line damage due to a current or former worker's breach of contract.

Perhaps a worker was never informed that a particular piece of information is a trade secret, and has never signed an agreement promising not to share the information. Each case is dependent upon its own set of facts and applicable law. An experienced California intellectual property law attorney can assist anyone facing trade secret problems in this state.

Source: FindLaw, "Ten Strategies for Trade Secret Protection", Accessed on March 26, 2018

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