Texas is among the states whose trade secret laws developed using the Uniform Trade Secrets Act as a model. However, businesses sometimes overlook the protection of their own trade secrets.
Here are five tips for keeping such essential information safe.
1. Identify trade secrets
Identify the trade secrets within your company. Assess the likelihood of employees divulging or selling this information to outsiders or of competitors acquiring or duplicating your trade secrets.
2. Keep information confidential
If you have documents containing trade secret information, keep those documents locked in a filing cabinet. If you maintain your trade secrets on the computer, limit access to those electronic files.
3. Educate employees
Ensure that all employees understand the importance of trade secret confidentiality. Consider having new hires sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from sharing confidential information during and after their term of employment with your company.
4. Know the laws
As the laws stand at this time, there is no requirement for the registration of trade secrets in order to have legal protection. However, it is important for you to know how the laws in Texas treat incidents of theft and disclosure of trade secrets.
5. Take action for violations
If you find that an insider has sold your trade secrets or that a competitor is using information that belongs to you, it is time to take a stand. Normally such matters belong in a civil action. The defendant may have to pay monetary damages and adhere to an order to cease and desist. However, some thefts may involve corporate espionage where convictions come with more severe penalties.