PROTECTING TRADE SECRETS IN THE TIMES OF THE PANDEMIC

Since trade secrets are not registered with the government, like patents or trademarks, companies must take proactive measures to preserve them. Those who fail to take reasonable measures, risk finding out down the road (usually in court, when the try to recover stolen trade secrets from a rogue employee) that their information has lost its trade secrets status.

All Businesses Can Take These Two Steps to Protect Their Trade Secrets

Every business should take at least the following steps to protect its trade secrets: (1) have employees sign non-competition / non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements and (2) turn on proper security features on all document management systems and databases, such as Google Share Drive, Microsoft 365, Dropbox, etc., and any databases used by the business.

Is it a Crime to Take Employers’ Trade Secrets?

Few employees realize that when they take their employers’ trade secrets with them prior to leaving their job they may be exposing themselves to criminal liability under the Economic Espionage Act, which makes it a crime to steal trade secrets when (1) the information relates to a product in interstate or foreign commerce (which is virtually any product now days) or (2) the intended beneficiary is a foreign power. 

1 2