Many companies obtain patents to protect their designs, formulas, and other inventions and product information. However, not everything that a business might want to protect qualifies for patent protection, and also, some owners might not want to expose the information necessary to obtain a patent. For this reason, a common way to protect proprietary information of a company is to protect it as trade secrets.
Trade secret protection does not come from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or any other formal entity. Instead, you can protect certain information by taking the proper steps to qualify that information as a trade secret. Under the Georgia Trade Secrets Act of 1990 (“GUTSA”) and the federal Uniform Trade Secrets Act, information that is properly protected cannot be disclosed or misappropriated without consequences. If a former employee, competitor, or another party does misappropriate a trade secret, your company can take legal action to stop them and seek damages for your losses and any wrongful gain on their part.
In order to ensure your trade secrets are protected, you should do the following, among other things:
- Draft policies and procedures for the protection and confidentiality of documents
- Have all applicable parties and employees sign carefully drafted non-disclosure agreements (NDA) regarding the proprietary information
- Establish electronic and physical security measures aimed at confidentiality
- Assess and address potential risks for trade secret vulnerabilities
- Have an information protection team when needed
- Conduct due diligence for any third parties who might be managing or accessing the information
- Train employees and other parties on security measures and confidentiality
If you suspect that your trade secrets have been exposed, always take immediate action by speaking with a Georgia business attorney about your next legal steps.
Contact a Business Lawyer in Georgia for Assistance
If you need any help with trade secret protection, consult with Battleson Law, LLC, as soon as possible. Do not wait to call 404.382.8149 or contact us online so we can help your business.