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.
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.
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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):
- 50-State Noncompete Law Chart, the first of its kind and regularly updated (downloadable PDF);
- Chart of Noncompete “Low-Wage” Thresholds and Criteria (2023) (downloadable);
- Notice requirements summary chart, providing details for each of the 8 states (plus D.C.) that has notice requirements related to noncompetes (downloadable PDF);
- 50-State and Federal Trade Secret Law Chart, providing a comparison of the trade secrets laws nationally to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (downloadable PDF).
- “Changing Trade Secrets | Noncompete Laws” (dedicated blog page) now provides a current detailed summary of the changing landscape of trade secret laws and noncompete laws around the country, state by state and at the federal level; and
- Ten Minute Trade Secret Training Series, currently with three training videos and one “basics” video:
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.