Implementing a Trade Secrets Protection Program
The types of information unscrupulous individuals or competitors seek are client lists, financial data, research and development work, merger and acquisition plans, and unannounced product specifications and prototypes. Any of this information could greatly benefit a competitor, while at the same time the theft of this information could have a devastating effect on a business.
Yet, many employers do not recognize that the greatest risk of theft of this information does not come from competitors or other outsiders. The greatest risk comes from a company's own employees who are either disgruntled or preparing to leave to work for a competitor. Despite the significant risks corporate espionage poses to companies, few companies expend the time, money and effort needed to secure and protect their trade secrets from employee theft.
This article appeared in the July 21, 2008 issue of Employment Law360.