Protect Confidential Information and Trade Secrets At All Costs 

As a business owner, you don’t need to be told how important it is to protect your business’s confidential information and trade secrets. Keeping pertinent business information from your competitors and other relevant parties means you can maintain your competitive edge in the market. 

For example, you have poured your energy and livelihood into the specifics of your business model. You have an employee who leaves and chooses to share your information with your competitor, or you have a party otherwise close to your trade secrets and what makes your business tick, and they divulge this information. 

This process can mean the demise of your success promptly. It’s imperative to have multiple layers of protection in place during all phases of your business to prevent this, allowing you to remain in the driver’s seat as the go-to to your customer demographic. 

The Uniform Trade Secrets Act 

Colorado put the Uniform Trade Secrets Act into action in 1986, giving business owners a clear perspective of what options were available to protect their most prized possessions, their trade secrets. 

Along with this act is the ability to recover damages should infringement occur, including a list of varying damages, attorneys fees, and, in select cases, punitive damages. 

This Act and the ability to hold those who misappropriate information accountable helped to change the landscape of business in our state and has since provided necessary protection to business owners. 

How To Protect Trade Secrets

What does a trade secret consist of? Though this question doesn’t have a black-and-white answer, your business attorney can help you protect your most confidential information. 

Courts will review the value of keeping the secret to your company and what steps must be taken to obtain and share the information with others. For example, was confidential information breached from the outside, or were they an employee? 

Was this particular piece of information known outside of the business? If it’s proven that the piece or group of information was widely known outside of your business, the information in question may not suffice as a trade secret. Therefore, your legal options to protect it may be minimal or nonexistent. 

What steps did the business take to keep the information confidential? Are there required meetings or handbooks regarding the safekeeping of the information? Do employees need to sign documentation expressing they understand that the information is to be kept confidential? 

What Steps Will You Take as a Business Regarding Remote Workers?

With more and more employees working remotely, it’s imperative to ensure that remote employees are expressly committed to keeping trade secrets confidential, regardless of their frequency within the business walls. 

Consider using roll call during web meetings and including a document before or after each meeting that all employees must sign regarding their knowledge of the confidential information or trade secrets that may have been discussed throughout the meeting. 

Confidentiality policies should be updated to reflect utilizing remote workers, such as where it’s appropriate to sign in to a meeting. For example, suppose the remote worker is most productive at a coffee shop. In that case, they must adhere to strict standards to avoid public places, use headphones, or other steps you can implement when meetings discuss trade secrets or other confidential information so the public doesn’t have easy access to essential details. 

Furthermore, when a remote worker puts in their notice or their position is terminated, consider documents that require them to keep trade secrets confidential. 

Work with your experienced business law attorney to ensure you have adequate steps in place for all employees within the company’s walls and beyond. 

Other Steps to Take to Ensure Confidential Information and Trade Secrets are Kept Safe

Employers can take several other steps to ensure that all employees avoid divulging important information. See below for a few examples;

Ensure that confidential information isn’t removed from the premises or that access isn’t gained through personal laptops or cell phones. 

Maintain all files that aren’t digital in locked cabinets with only a select set of people with the keys or codes to access them. 

Utilize security to enter the building, and allow entry through only one door during business hours so each employee is documented when they are in the building. 

Develop procedures that require employees to access specific files through approved sources rather than allowing them to download freely. 

Use password protection on files that include trade secrets or otherwise confidential information. Keep a log of who has accessed these documents and when. 

Mark all relevant documents as confidential to avoid confusion or questions from employees. 

Use video surveillance, key code or fingerprint access, and more throughout the building where confidential information may be less regulated. 

The list above isn’t meant to be exhaustive but is an excellent example of some of the actions you can take to help alleviate a breach of your most sensitive information. 

The Credentials You Can Rely On When You Need it the Most 

In addition to the law degree obtained at the University of Denver, a Master’s of Business Administration was also obtained by the firm’s lead attorney to ensure they had a wealth of knowledge to enter into the field of being a tireless legal advocate for businesses of all sizes in Colorado. 

The earlier you contact an attorney to protect your business, the better. You can enforce best practices through contracts, revised company policies, security measures, and more to ensure that your livelihood and competitive edge remain intact for years to come. 

Call our office at 303-557-2011 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can best assist you.