If you own a flourishing business in Minneapolis, you likely have a few trade secrets in your arsenal that helped you leap ahead of the competition. Most successful companies found prosperity because their owners saw the wisdom in protecting critical pieces of intellectual property.
You likely already understand that trademarking intellectual property can keep it out of the hands of your competitors. Unfortunately, not enough business owners realize that their trade secrets are intellectual property.
What exactly are trade secrets?
They can be anything from patterns to recipe ingredients. For example, KFC would probably enjoy much less global success without its world-famous secret recipe. Below are eight more examples of company or business secrets that need protection.
- Compilations of information or data (books, source code, etc.)
- Computer programs or scripts
- Methods of manufacturing
- Company designs, databases, blueprints, etc.
- Methods or techniques for processing materials
- Business plans and market research
- Formulas for products (cleaning, beauty, etc.)
- Company manuals and policy handbooks
Should someone steal your trade secrets, you can seek a legal solution if the property is:
- For business purposes only
- Not generally known to others
- Valuable or potentially valuable to the company
- Kept reasonably safe from theft
If an ex-employee or someone from a competing company steals your company secrets, intellectual property litigation can help you find justice. It will also send a signal to your staff and your competition that you are prepared to fight for what legally belongs to your company.
The statutes that govern and help businesses protect their ideas and property are complicated. Increasing your knowledge of intellectual property laws empowers you to keep your business assets safe.