Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, to be considered a trade secret, information must:
- derive independent economic value from not being generally known to competitors, or readily ascertainable by them; and
- be subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.
- Have written procedures to protect the information;
- Sign non-disclosure agreements with employees and others who have access to the information;
- Clearly mark as confidential any information that the company maintains is proprietary, and notify those who utilize such information of its proprietary nature;
- Restrict dissemination of the information only to those who have a need to know the information;
- Physically restrict access to the information, or to the computers on which the information is stored. This may also be achieved by an effective password protection system; and
- Conduct exit interviews to remind terminated employees of their obligations of confidentiality and to limit the amount of confidential information that is removed by such employees. Many companies use a written form.
To request a copy of his recent presentation, "Protecting Your Trade Secrets," please contact Jim Cowan. For more information on LeClairRyan's Intellectual Property practice, including patents, trade secrets, trademarks and copyrights, please contact Rebecca Conner.
Read more from LeClairRyan on Handshake 2.0.
As a trusted advisor, LeClairRyan provides business counsel and client representation in corporate law and litigation. In this role, the firm applies its knowledge, insight and skill to help clients achieve their business objectives while managing and minimizing their legal risks, difficulties and expenses. With offices in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the firm has approximately 350 attorneys representing a wide variety of clients throughout the nation.