As a California small business owner, chances are, there are certain aspects about your business that give it a leg up on the competition. Maybe your trade secrets involve certain recipes or processes, or maybe you have spent the last several years creating a solid database of customer information you use in your marketing efforts. Regardless of the types of trade secrets you have, you must protect them if you want them to retain their value. At Kashfian & Kashfian, LLP, we recognize the critical nature of protecting your business’s intellectual property, and we have helped many small business owners make necessary efforts to do so.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, once you have a firm understanding of what your business’s trade secrets are, you can determine how best to protect them. If, for example, you have trade secrets on actual paper, you will likely want to limit access to them by storing them appropriately, which typically means in a locked file cabinet or similarly secure area.
If you business stores its trade secrets electronically, you can limit access to them by utilizing passwords and making sure they are available only to you, and if applicable, other trusted partners or colleagues. Another important step to consider taking to protect intellectual property involves having all employees sign confidentiality agreements that prohibit them from sharing information about your business, both during and after employment.
Finally, it may help to educate your employees about the potential penalties associated with violating a confidentiality agreement that bans them from discussing or sharing your trade secrets. You can find more about this topic by visiting our webpage.