Successful businesses are built on creative solutions for consumer needs and desires. Even if your product offerings seem like others on the market, your unique approach can make you a viable competitor.
How do you compete? With intellectual property (IP) protection, including well-kept trade secrets.
Three components of a trade secret
Whereas a copyright, patent or trademark is public information, a trade secret consists of private information you can license or sell to add financial value to your business.
Confidentiality agreements are a common means of keeping proprietary information in-house. Leaked information deemed a breach of contract can result in legal action. The same goes for unauthorized use.
Trade secrets might pertain to commercial, technical or public information, all of which can be protected under federal law. So, what does that include in practice?
13 examples of essential IP protection
Consider what sets your business plan apart. In the wrong hands, what information could sacrifice your success? Work with your attorney to protect tangible and intangible:
- Program devices
Once you’ve identified the information in need of protection, implement steps to reduce risk among your workforce.
Internal risk mitigation
Although you could take legal action for violations of your IP rights, the onus of protecting them is on you. There are some steps you can take to reduce the possibility of others getting ahold of your trade secrets.
- Develop policies that protect information
- Create customer lists, customer pricing and vendor lists
- Only share proprietary information with those who need it to perform their job
- Train your employees to keep your intellectual property confidential
- Establish procedures for employee turnover
IP protection is imperative for businesses of all sizes across every industry. To prepare for success, you must recognize the value of your concept from the start.