The recent decision in Decision Insights, Inc. v. Sentia Group, Inc., No. 09-2300 (4th Cir., Jan. 28, 2011), features two reversals of district court decisions involving a bedrock trade secrets principle: just because a secret recipe uses publicly available ingredients, it does not necessarily mean that the recipe is not a secret.
Now available on demand -- Join us for this free one hour webinar as we explore steps employers can take to address the risks presented by social media to their trade secrets. The use of online social media for professional purposes is becoming increasingly prevalent. Employees are often very casual about what they say and do online. Any business that does not have a solid contract, a sound social networking policy, or does not train its employees on the do's and don'ts of social networking may have a critical security gap in the protection of its trade secrets.
The difference between having a trade secret and not can come down to the steps that a company takes to protect its secrets. Most companies use agreements and establish policies, but many forget to be proactive. There are various proactive ways in which employers can monitor the manner in which employees use or disclose trade secrets, but they are not without risk. This post explores some alternatives and notes a few pitfalls to keep an eye out for.
Profit isn’t always the motive underlying trade secret theft. Sometimes people simply want revenge or to wreak havoc. The lesson for companies is that protecting trade secrets sometimes requires something more than asking employees to sign confidentiality agreements. It means taking steps to secure your company's computer system and network.