Monday, January 11, 2016
How Much Trade Secrecy is Necessary?
As we explained at our trade secrecy site, in cases of trade secrecy theft, courts seek evidence that your company took reasonable precautions to prevent people who are not subject to confidentiality restrictions from learning your secrets.
What's reasonable? That depends on the size of your enterprise and the value of your trade secrets. For example, you may feel that more care should be taken to protect extremely valuable software code or marketing plans than less unimportant customer lists. It's true that a start-up's trade secrets may ultimately have the same value as secrets held by Apple, Microsoft, or Facebook. But a start-up can implement a much simpler trade secrecy program simply because of the scale of its enterprise. With fewer employees, reduced contractor access, and smaller office geography, a start-up's trade secrets can be held closer to the chest without the complex security procedures of a NASDAQ giant. As businesses expand, so will the trade secrecy procedures.