Safekeeping for Your Business Secrets
The most important assets of your 21st century business are often “intellectual assets.” Intellectual assets include your competitor analyses, your marketing plans, your customer profiles and your computer systems. In short, it is your business’s confidential information that provides your competitive advantage.
To effectively protect confidential information, your business must take certain actions including:
- Ensuring all confidential information is
- labeled “Confidential”
- Locking confidential information away after business hours
- Maintaining computer security
- Limiting access to company secrets to people with a reasonable need to know
While these actions are helpful, the key to protecting your confidential information is a well drafted Confidential Disclosure Agreement.
How Epiphany Law Can Help
Confidential Disclosure Agreements are used to protect key company information from use and disclosure by employees, suppliers, customers and any other parties that come in contact with your confidential information.
Drafting an effective Confidential Disclosure Agreement can only be accomplished with the assistance of a knowledgeable business attorney. Epiphany Law has the expertise and experience to help ensure your intellectual assets are protected.
Questions & Answers
Q: What information do I need to protect?
A: You need to protect any information that is valuable to your company. In general, this includes all of your financial and technical information, whether written or oral. Examples would include client lists and records, reports, analyses, financial statements, forms, business or management methods, marketing data, fee schedules, information technology systems and programs, projections, forecasts and trade secrets.
Q: How long can I protect the information?
A: How long you can protect your confidential information depends upon the type of information to be protected and to whom the information is disclosed. For example, trade secret protection can last forever. In contrast, confidential information can generally only be protected from disclosure by an employee for a reasonable amount of time—generally less than 2 years.
Q: What types of information cannot be protected?
A: Not all business information can be protected. In general, information that becomes publicly known, information that is requested by order of a government agency, or information that is independently developed can not be protected. Thus, most confidential information can be protected if your business takes the proper precautions. Work with a knowledgeable attorney to ensure your confidential information receives the maximum protection possible.