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3 Ways to Protect Business Trade Secrets with Non-Employees

A business’ trade secrets can be the basis of success for that enterprise. While we’ve discussed what businesses can do to protect their trade secrets with new and departing employees in previous blogs, here, we will point out some of the primary ways to protect trade secrets in dealings with non-employees.

Protecting Trade Secrets in Non-Employee Relations

trade secret notebook

To prevent non-employees from exploiting your businesses trade secret(s), develop:

  1. Internal company security measures – First and foremost, there should be some standard operating procedures for how a company’s trade secrets will be preserved, who is responsible for this oversight and what actions will be taken to enforce these measures. Generally, such security measures can include (but are by no means limited to):
    • Process(es) for appropriately marking, storing and handling trade secret materials in order to maintain/protect their confidential nature
    • Process(es) for establishing and verifying access to trade secret materials
    • Process(es) for granting and providing access to trade secret materials
    • Process(es) for reminding/retraining employees on how to maintain trade secret(s)and their responsibilities for doing so
    • Process(es) for destroying extra/unneeded/outdated copies of trade secret documents or files.
  2. Preclearance procedures for other expressions of trade secrets – In addition to establishing internal security measures for maintaining trade secrets, businesses intent on protecting their secrets in non-employee relations should also develop process(es) for allowing trade secret-related information to be discussed or disseminated via presentations, white papers, etc. Effective and appropriate preclearance procedures can prevent imprudent disclosures.
  3. Confidentiality agreements for non-employee business relationships – Another piece of the puzzle to protecting trade secrets in non-employee relations is developing specific confidentiality agreements for relationships with independent contractors and other business entities. These agreements should be developed with the help of an attorney, as there may need to be special provisions added to these contracts, based on the nature of the relationship and the type of business or trade secret being protected.

Contact a Denver Business Lawyer at Downey & Associates, PC

For experienced help protecting business trade secrets – or going after those who have stolen or misappropriated business trade secrets, contact Denver Business Lawyer Thomas E. Downey. Since 1983, Thomas Downey and the other legal professionals at Downey & Associates, PC, have been providing individuals and businesses in the Denver Metro Area and throughout the U.S. with the highest level of legal service for their business, litigation, and real estate legal issues.

To learn more about how Mr. Downey can help you, call our firm at (303) 813-1111 or email us using the contact form on this page. From our law offices in Centennial, we serve clients throughout Colorado and the U.S.

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