Many Alberta business owners have suffered the financial consequences of insufficient protection of their trade secrets. Anything that can adversely affect a business if it becomes public knowledge can be regarded as a trade secret. Business law does not protect confidential information, but many ways exist to protect trade secrets.
Typical matters that business owners want to keep secret include marketing and customer research, unpatented inventions, exclusive or unique recipes, chemical formulas and newly developed products or ongoing experiments. Also, business plans, training manuals and other essential information about the business. Reasonable steps can be taken to protect such secrets.
Available methods to keep crucial business information secret include having anyone with knowledge of trade secrets sign a confidentiality or nondisclosure agreement. Valuable information can be encrypted, and password protection might protect valuable information. Then there is the trusted safe, and keeping trade secrets under lock and key might prevent them from becoming public knowledge. A trade secret will only be protected for as long as the information remains secret — as soon as that happens, losses could be substantial.
Business success or failure might depend on the ability of the business owner, and his or her staff members, to protect trade secrets. For this reason, many company owners in Alberta retain the services of a lawyer who has experience in dealing with matters related to commercial and business law. A lawyer can assist with establishing proper protection plans, and also deal with any investigations, and legal proceedings that might result from compromised trade secrets. This could involve staff members who violated nondisclosure agreements, business opposition or any other similar claims.