A Primer and Checklist for Protecting Trade Secrets and Other Legitimate Business Interests

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

John Jay

The ability to protect trade secrets, other confidential information, customer goodwill, and other legitimate business interests is a difficult task that requires planning, diligence, and dedication.

Over a decade ago and again when Covid started, I posted about the need for a trade secret protection program to protect those interests.

In 2020, I created a (very long) checklist for companies to use as a guide – i.e., not prescriptively – to help think through the issues and quickly identify what they’re doing right and what they need to do differently.

Since then, advancing technologies and changing behaviors have heightened risk of loss of valuable information. An evolving legal landscape has simultaneously made dependence on the courts increasingly challenging. The result? The need for a robust trade secret protection program is even more pronounced now than it was before.

To help, I have updated our trade secret protection program primer and checklist.

The goal of the primer and checklist is two-fold.

First, while different companies will take different approaches, preventing the loss is always better than seeking a remedy afterward. The primer and checklist provides a starting point to help figure out what will work for your company.

Second, when loss cannot be prevented, courts are more inclined to help those who help themselves. Whatever steps a company takes to protect its legitimate business interests will increase the odds that a court will step in and help.

Good luck!

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We know how hard it is to keep up with the ever-changing requirements around the country. To help, we have created the following resources (available for free):

We hope you find all of these resources useful. More are coming.

And please note that we are grateful for all of the input we’ve received over the years, and welcome any suggestions for improvements that you may be willing to share.