This post continues the discussion from my last post regarding common mistakes that can cause a loss of trade secrets. To qualify as a trade secret, information must be the subject of reasonable precautions to maintain secrecy. This rule applies beyond the procedures that the trade secret owner follows outside of the courthouse. Parties to lawsuits also need to be careful not to waive their trade secrets by publishing the trade secrets in open court.
Retail department stores place security sensors at each exit that stop thieves from shoplifting valuable merchandise.
Businesses implement security procedures designed to prevent the theft of their trade secrets. The problem is that trade secrets are ideas. Ideas can be stolen in more ways than physically carrying paper out of the exit.
Here is a nightmare scenario for many businesses. A person with access to a business’ trade secrets posts them on the internet. The posting could be by mistake or – worse – out of spite (revenge for being passed over for a promotion or firing). After stating the expletive of choice, what is the business to do?