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Protect Your Brand Trade Secrets with a Non-disclosure Agreement

Today’s Tip

Best Practice: Protect brand trade secrets: info, process, formula, recipe, pattern, physical device, or an idea with a non-disclosure agreement.

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Today’s Article: Protect Trade Secrets with a Non-disclosure Agreement to Protect Your Brand.

Your brand is one of your most valuable business assets. It distinguishes your company or product in the marketplace. Every business has parts of its business that make it unique, sustainable and competitive. It is important that business competitors do not have access to these parts of the business and need to be kept secret.

What are Trade Secrets?   A trade secret can be customer information, process, formula, recipe, pattern, physical device, or an idea that provides the business with a competitive advantage.

Unlike other forms of intellectual property such as trademarks, servicemarks, patents, trade secrecy is a do-it-yourself form of protection. The business does not register with the government to secure a trade secret; the business simply keeps the information confidential. Trade secret protection lasts for as long as the secret is kept confidential. Once a trade secret is made available to the public, trade secret protection ends.

Nondisclosure agreement is one of the best ways to protect trade secrets.

What is a nondisclosure agreement?
It can also be called a NDA or a confidentiality agreement. A nondisclosure agreement is a legal contract that employees, contractors or other parties sign that will have access to a business trade secret(s) and promise to keep it confidential.

With a signed nondisclosure agreement an employee, contractor or other party that discloses or uses the secret without the business’s authorization, the business can ask that a court order be issued to prevent the individual from making any further disclosures. The agreement makes it easier to sue for damages.


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Action Step: Check out your state law below for trade secrets. Consult your attorney about protecting your brand by having each key employee and future hires that are familiar with “critical” information sign a non-disclosure agreement.


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 Additional Resources

State-By-State Trade Secret Guide

Alabama    Alaska      Arizona    Arkansas   California   Colorado    Connecticut
Delaware   D.C.   Florida   Georgia   Hawaii   Idaho   Illinois   Indiana   Iowa
Kansas   Kentucky   Louisiana   Maine   Maryland   Massachusetts   Michigan
Minnesota   Mississippi   Missouri   Montana   Nebraska   Nevada   New Hampshire
New Jersey   New Mexico   New York   North Carolina   North Dakota   Ohio
Oklahoma   Oregon   Pennsylvania   Rhode Island   South Carolina   South Dakota
Tennessee   Texas   Utah   Vermont   Virginia   Washington   West Virginia
Wisconsin   Wyoming


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