Are Your Trade Secrets Being Protected?

naperville business lawyerAs a savvy business owner or a strong business leader, protecting intellectual property is crucial. You have worked long and hard to develop your business. When you neglect to trademark, copyright, or otherwise protect your intellectual property, this hard work can be exploited by others. Whether you want to trademark your company’s logo or business name or protect trade secrets and other confidential information, knowing how to safeguard trade secrets and intellectual property can be challenging. This is why many business owners work with a skilled business law attorney to ensure that their trade secrets and intellectual property rights are fully protected.

Protecting Trade Secrets from Competitors

Perhaps you have discovered the perfect recipe to make soft, delicious cookies or maybe you have developed a brilliant marketing strategy. Trade secret protections allow you to ensure that others cannot copy your ideas and benefit from your ingenuity. Anything that gives your company a competitive advantage should be protected. Start by identifying proprietary information and set up systems to protect the information from being leaked. You may need to limit computer access, train employees on how to prioritize confidentiality, and create a plan for how to deal with any possible breaches.

Another way to protect trade secrets is to have employees, contractors, vendors, and other individuals privy to confidential information sign a confidentiality agreement or nondisclosure agreement. This legally binding contract prohibits these parties from sharing or using your business’s protected information to their advantage.  

Understanding Copyrights, Trademarks, and Patents

Trademarks are used to protect slogans, names, symbols, and other property that distinguishes your company from others. By trademarking your business’s logo, you can prevent competitors from using the logo on their products and riding the coattails of your good reputation.

Copyrights protect artistic or intellectually created works such as music, photographs, movies, and literary works. Once your work is copyrighted, you alone have the right to display, reproduce, or distribute the work. Copyrights exist automatically upon the creation of the work. However, copyrights are much harder to enforce without the official
legal copyright.

Patents protect inventions, discoveries, mechanical processes, and designs. By patenting your inventions, you save those processes from being used by others without your consent. Patents are issued on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. If you wait too long to patent your invention, someone else may patent it first and gain the exclusive rights to the invention.

Contact Us for Help Protecting Intellectual Property

Protecting your trade secrets and intellectual property rights is a key component of ensuring your business’s continued success. For help protecting trade secrets and intellectual property, drafting strong confidentiality agreements, and a wide range of other business law needs, contact the Gierach Law Firm. Our Naperville business lawyer can help you identify your needs and take the steps necessary to ensure your trade secrets and intellectual property will not be exploited by others. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation.

Sources:

The Balance Small Business

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

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Please note: These blogs have been created over a period of time and laws and information can change. For the most current information on a topic you are interested in please seek proper legal counsel.

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