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Protecting Trade Secrets

William B. Hanley Dec. 27, 2019

If you’re a business owner in Los Angeles, Orange, or San Diego county, you need to know how and why trade secrets and patents differ from each other. If you’re not sure, trade secrets attorney William B. Hanley of Irvine, California has the information you need.

What is the Difference Between Trade Secrets and Patents? 

In the state of Califonia, trade secrets are classified as information valuable to a business or brand, and that is fiercely protected and kept from anyone outside the company. Patents, on the other hand, are protected through Patent Law and don’t typically involve active corporate secrecy. 

According to the 1984 survey conducted by Yale University and the 2008 Berkeley Patent Survey, corporations are increasingly favoring trade secrets over patents because it is more effective than the patent in protecting processes, and attorneys are taking note.

Are There Laws to Protect Trade Secrets In California?

Where patenting has its own designation within business law, trade secrets are protected by “acts” specifically designed to help protect trade secrets. These acts are:

  • The Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA)

  • The California Uniform Trade Secrets Act (CUTSA)

  • The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA)

Each of these acts can help you protect your business by allowing you to take legal action when your trade secrets have been misappropriated or sold by employees. To determine which of these acts is best suited to help you pursue justice and compensation for your lost trade secret, you will need to discuss the specifics of your case with an experienced business attorney in Irvine, California.

How You Can Protect Trade Secrets 

There are steps and measures you can take that will help you protect your trade secrets such as:

  • Keep the secret on a need-to-know basis within your company

  • Create and maintain strong nondisclosure agreements with employees

  • Actively protect your trade secrets against physical and cybertheft.

  • Discuss with your lawyer whether filing for a patent would better suit your needs

  • Be proactive and regularly assess your methods to make sure they are up to date

Once you have set these in place, you should consider the culture and atmosphere your company is cultivating.

Loose Lips & Employee Loyalty

Creating a company that inspires your employees and focuses on respect and integrity can go a long way in protecting your trade secrets and the interests of your business. If you invest in cultivating loyalty among your employees — no matter their level in the company — you have a better chance of securing your assets and protecting yourself from corporate espionage. 

Employee loyalty does not necessarily have to do with the length of employment, but rather the commitment to protecting the company and investing in its success. The more committed your employees are to your company, and the more they feel like they are valuable to the team, the more seriously they will take your business’ trade secrets.

Before you make decisions regarding employees you are bringing into a need-to-know basis, you should conduct several thorough investigations and interviews to ensure you are putting your trust in the right people. 

Contact William B. Hanley, Attorney at Law

William Hanley is the attorney to call when someone has violated your trade secrets. If you are considering filing a lawsuit or taking other appropriate legal action in or near Irvine, California, you need the counsel and representation of an experienced business attorney specializing in trade secrets. 

If your trade secrets have been violated, there is no time to hesitate when it comes to protecting your business and filing for just compensation. Attorney William B. Hanley’s office is located in Irvine, California, but he proudly serves the entire state, primarily the counties of San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange.

Contact his office today to schedule a free consultation.