What is the first step a company should take in order to protect its trade secrets?
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Well, the first thing that you have to do is you have to know what it is that you’re seeking to protect. If you don’t know what your trade secrets are, you can’t protect them. But you really can’t get bogged down in trying to figure out what is your trade secret. You want to look at what your sensitive, confidential information is that makes your company a success because people get bogged down in trying to figure out what is the trade secret? And then they can’t figure out what to do from there.
So once you figure out what that sensitive, confidential information is, then you have to find out how are you protecting it right now? Are you taking actions to mark it confidential? Are you storing it in a secure place? Are you limiting access to the information? If you’re not, you’re not protecting the information and it won’t be a trade secret no matter how valuable it is to your company. So what are the first steps? Identify the trade secret information and figure out what you’re doing right now to protect it.