Proactive Steps to Take to Strengthen Litigation Position in Advance of Trade Secret Misappropriation Suit

In Implementation of Security Program on September 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm
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Stephen Hall has written a helpful article reminding businesses of proactive steps they can take to strengthen a client’s litigation position in trade secrets, patents and copyright infringement.  With respect to possible claims for trade secret misappropriation, Hall recommends the following:

  1. Implement a written trade secret policy and include the policy in its employee handbook. “New employees should read and sign the trade secret policy when hired, and preferably acknowledge the policy in any exit interview.”
  2. Maintain the confidentiality of your secret sauce: “As a good rule of thumb, companies should at least (a) limit disclosure of its trade secrets to those employees with a “need to know,” (b) mark trade secret documentation accordingly, i.e. designated as “confidential” or “proprietary”, and (c) require employees to sign confidentiality agreements acknowledging the confidential nature of inventions, customer lists, pricing, manufacturing apparatus, procedures, etc.”
  3. Review and evaluate any “standard” or boilerplate non-disclosure agreements that are presented by third parties. “However, many of these ‘standard’ non-disclosure agreements have a short time limit on the non-disclosure obligations” and “carefully consider what protection is offered for trade secrets before blindly entering into a non-disclosure agreement.”

You can review the article here.


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