Trade secrets can provide valuable advantages to you if properly protected. When such information makes it into the wrong hands or is recklessly shared with others, you may jeopardize your competitive advantage.
Knowing which information qualifies as a trade secret is imperative so you know what to protect.
When you have successfully done something better than another professional in your industry, it probably means you have a unique way of accomplishing your goals. This advantage allows you to progress beyond competitors. However, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, such competitive advantages only have value when you keep them private.
Conducting a thorough assessment of your competencies is one way to identify trade secrets. What do you do better than others? Which classified business information helps you strategize and succeed? Answering these questions is a great starting point in figuring out which information you should keep private.
Keeping some of your business information private can give you better control over your success. When you know who knows what information, you can more confidently leverage private information to your advantage. Always know who has access to classified or proprietary information. Implement protocols to prevent unqualified persons from accessing information. Over time, you will need to update your policies to ensure they remain secure and effective.
If you have an issue with trade secret protection, you may want to hire an attorney. Failing to take immediate action could compromise your success. With the guidance of a legal professional, you can determine which steps to take to restore the privacy you desire.