Seven Things Employers Can Do to Protect Their Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets

Employees and key company executives have access to proprietary business information that can be key to the company’s market position.  Protecting this critical information is top priority for any business.  There are seven basic things any business can do to protect its valuable assets:

1. Adopt a trade secret protection plan.

2. Use non-compete agreements with employees and consultants.

3. Include confidential provisions in your employee handbook, policies and employment agreements.

4. Include assignment of invention in your employee handbook, policies and employment agreements.

5. Adopt an invention review process to identify potentially patentable technology before patent rights are inadvertently waived.

6. Educate employees about what data is confidential and their duties of loyalty to the company.

7. Use work-for-hire agreements with consultants and contractors who work on copyrightable artwork, text, graphics or other content.

These rather simple strategies can prevent your proprietary data from walking out the door and being used to compete with or harm your business.