Protect Your Business Information and Trade Secrets
The Hartmann Law Firm LLC
[email protected]; 908 769 6888
Just as you lock your house at night to protect your family and possessions, you must protect your company's business information. This is most commonly done through a confidentiality agreement.
In the employment context, the confidentiality agreement is often blended into an offer letter, a non-compete agreement, an employee handbook or all of these. The issue may also arise when you are sharing information with another company in an effort to do business together. Then you might use a non-disclosure agreement.
Do not assume that everyone you hire or consult with has only your best interests in mind. You work hard to develop your business – it is yours. Protect it.
The confidentiality agreement should protect all the business information you have that is not public. This should include not only business information, but inventions or concepts that employees develop while in your employ.
Some examples include: all information or proprietary materials (in every form and media) not generally known in the relevant trade or industry and which has been or is hereafter disclosed or made available by your company to an employee including:
- all trade secrets;
- existing or contemplated products, services, designs, technology, processes, technical data, engineering, techniques, methodologies and concepts and any information related to it;
- information relating to business plans, sales or sales methods and customer lists or requirements; and
- vendors or business partners, existing or prospective customers, clients, vendors or any other information concerning the business of your company, its manner of operation, its financing, its investments, its business plans, its pricing information, its employee information, its vendor records, its customer lists, its marketing, sales or development plans, technical data, patents, copyrights, research or any other data of any kind, nature, or description.
In a confidentiality agreement or non-disclosure agreement, you should also explicitly point out that your company has invested and will continue to invest substantial time, money and specialized knowledge in developing its resources, creating a customer base, generating customer and potential customer lists, training employees and improving offerings to clients, all of which provides a competitive edge to Company and is part of the protected confidential information. This will confirm to any court if there is a dispute that both parties understood the criticality of protecting the information.
The Hartmann Law Firm LLC can assist in these compliance matters to insure your business and your assets are protected. Beyond this, we can help guide businesses through issues ahead of litigation or aggressively advocate in litigation and business disputes should the need arise.