Enriching Life Through Innovative Ideas SM

Tips on protecting trade secrets

Trade secrets are often essential for the success of your business, which is why so many small business owners in California are concerned with protecting them. In order to safeguard important information, you’ll need to know what steps to take, from how trade secrets are defined to filing a civil suit if a breach occurs. The following is a guide to the protection of trade secrets to make sure they stay out of reach of your competitors.

Know what a trade secret is

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines trade secrets as information that is not readily accessible by others that also has commercial value. Certain steps must also be taken to keep the information secure, such as by implementing confidentiality agreements with employees and business associates. An example of a trade secret is a process a business develops that helps it manufacture products more efficiently while also reducing costs.

Understand the law

The U.S. Small Business Association explains that while it is considered unlawful in most states to utilize trade secrets developed by another entity, there is no official process to register this information (unlike trademarks and patents). In California, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act states that trade secrets must not be misappropriated or acquired by improper means. Legal action can be taken in this case, which would entail filing a complaint against the other business, and a potential lawsuit. However, by that time the damage will already have been done. It would be best if your business never gets to this point. Therefore, it is important to take preventative action. 

Talk to your staff

Your workers should also be aware of the proper steps for protecting trade secrets. For instance, when creating non-disclosure agreements terms should cover the duration of employment as well as a period after (which prevents a worker from taking important information to another employer). You should also go over the importance of protection and what information is considered sensitive with your workers on a regular basis. This will prevent an inadvertent admission of valuable information to others.

FindLaw Network

What Our Clients Say

Starting a new business can be a bit scary. Aside from worries of failure, there’s also the hassle of making sure all legal paperwork are properly filed. I reached out to Mr. Wang (Tommy) because of his excellent reviews and reputation and I am so glad I did. He was thorough and meticulous in answering all of my concerns and took time to find out special laws and policies regarding the kind of business I am starting. I could focus on the daily practical side of starting my new office without worry because I felt Tommy was reliable and took my case seriously. My business is opened and it’s all been a smooth start because of Tommy’s help. I have plans to start another business venture in the next few years and I already know I’ll be coming back to Wang IP Law.

The Shindig W.

I came to Tommy for help reviewing a licensing agreement I had secured with a well-known manufacturer. Tommy made sure I understood all the details in the contract and he negotiated with the company to improve my side of the deal. I mentioned to Tommy at my first consultation that we were looking to expand throughout the US and were investing a lot of money to make a big entrance into the market. I did not think I would have my store open so soon but Tommy also has connections with the local area and realtors to help me secure the location for my first store in the Los Angeles area. Tommy works a lot with the local businesses and he understands how to transition from the Asian market to US market. Within 8 months my store was open for business and fully operating. I must recommend Tommy to any business owners looking for help with contracts and improving their side of the deal. Tommy has the knowledge and experience to make sure there is a smooth process to open for business here, and make sure that your company is set up for success.


I think Tommy and his team by far considered the best people to work with in my 16 business years. Beside quick responses to all my inquiries, they also done things right and providing very professional solutions. I’m highly recommending Tommy and his firm to all business owners.

Calvin C.

I have been working on my Utility Patent for almost 4 years. I have hired and fired two very reputable IP firms because with all their expertise and reputation for being some of the top firms in IP Law, I felt a lack of connection and care in my product, time and financial investment. Then I found Tommy and his team. Tommy does not waste time. He and his team are professional and extremely thorough. After 4 years, I finally found a legal team that I felt spent the time to really understand the components of my utility patent. Tommy also very mindful of cost and how and where my money would be better spent. I really feel I am in great hands with Tommy and his team. They have been patient with my revisions. And most importantly, they made me feel that they fully understood the importance this patent is to me. It has been a great and comforting pleasure working with Tommy.


Read All