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Protecting your trade secret a vital step

Many companies owe their success to a trade secret or a piece of information that very few people know. Trade secrets are things such as the Colonel's secret spices at KFC or the recipe for Coca-Cola. These are pieces of information that are generally not known -- at least not precisely. And their value is derived from the fact few people know the specific secret.

What many companies may not known, though, is that protecting your trade secret is as important as having the trade secret in the first place. So how does a company goo about protecting their trade secret?

Every state has some form of trade secret law on the books, usually laws that pertain to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. If you have a trade secret, the first step to protect it is to identify the information that is the trade secret. Then, you will want to implement a system to identify any information that relates to the trade secret and, thus, needs to be protected.

Labeling communication and documents that relate to the trade secret and other secret information is critical. You will also want to secure your computer systems and monitor where trade secret information is stored. Security is essential, and you will also want to maintain your trade secrecy even with vendors.

By limiting access and protecting your trade secret, while also maintaining good records that clearly show that you are protecting confidential information, you can substantiate any legal claims you may have against any parties that obtain your trade secret or violate the law.

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