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How to Protect Your Trade Secrets

If you own a small business or you are an inventor and want to keep your trade a secret in Iowa, you have rights and laws that protect you. Sometimes, when you are an individual or a small business and a much larger business gets a hold of your confidential business information, you may think there is no hope of fighting back. An Iowa business litigation attorney may be able to help you fight back and protect your trade secrets.

Any confidential information including your business plan, manufacturing process, distribution manner, commercial secrets, purchasing habits, sales methods, advertising techniques, list of clients, and supplier list could be considered trade secrets to your business. Most of the time this information is what gives your business the edge over your competitors. If your competition obtains this information, your product won't be as special and your profit will be negatively affected.

The majority of leaks of trade secrets are due to industrial espionage and breach of contract. Since your company has information that you want protected, you need to take the necessary steps to properly guard this information. At the very least, you need to have your employees, vendors and any third parties involved in the trade secret sign a non-disclosure agreement and a non-compete agreement. In exchange, they get to be employed by your company and understand that this information is your property.

By signing these agreements, employees will often give up their rights to any work they produce during their employment. The purpose of these contracts is to let employees know that they cannot reveal trade secrets, and if they do, there could be huge fines, penalties, and lawsuits.

Because other companies may try to obtain your trade secrets through industrial espionage or other improper means, they can be held legally liable for improperly and illegally acquiring these secrets. The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 makes stealing trade secrets a federal crime in the U.S.

Since you and your company have invested time, money, and work into your trade secrets, you do not want that information to get into your competitors' hands or else you many lose some market share and dominance. It is often difficult to fight this battle alone. Contact an experienced business litigation attorney and find out your rights.

Contact the law firm of Brady Preston Gronlund today at (319) 866-9277 and speak with a knowledgeable Iowa business litigation attorney to find out your legal options.

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