January 21, 2021

Volume XI, Number 21

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January 20, 2021

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January 19, 2021

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Tips to Remember for Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

We hope you and your employees had a festive holiday season and happy New Year!  It is always helpful to review your company policies and procedures on an annual basis, and policies and procedures on protection of trade secrets and confidential information are no different.  Below are some tips to remember and questions to consider as you conduct your review this year.

  1. Have you identified all information in your company that needs protection, i.e. Finance, HR, Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Manufacturing, etc.?

  2. Are your polices for the protection of trade secrets and confidential information up to date, i.e. confidentiality/non-disclosure policy, return of company property policy, email/internet use policy, cellphone/device policy, employee loyalty policy, integrity policy, etc.?

  3. Have all employees signed acknowledgments regarding these policies?

  4. Are their employees that warrant specific non-compete/non-solicitation/non-disclosure agreements, i.e. senior management, sales, developers, etc. and are those agreements in need of any revisions?

  5. Do you have a procedure in place to investigate potential trade secret/confidential information theft for resigning/terminated employees, i.e. reviewing emails, evaluating employee’s pre-termination computing activity, continuing to monitor  departed employee’s company email account, etc.?

  6. Have proper steps been taken to protect trade secrets and confidential information available to remote employees, i.e. written reminder of company policies, designating a point person for questions related to remote access, use VPN or other secured portal with two-step or multi-factor authentication for remote access, prohibit access to company systems via public WiFi, require employees to transmit trade secrets and confidential info through secured servers or drives, prohibit possession of trade secrets on devices that cannot be accessed by the company, prohibit discussing or sharing trade secrets or confidential information on non-secure video conferencing platforms, etc.?

  7. Do you have a procedure in place to insure new hires from competitors are not bringing trade secrets and confidential information into your organization, i.e. have the employee sign an acknowledgement that bringing such information is prohibited, initial monitoring of employees computing activities, etc.?

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© 2020 Jones Walker LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 12
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About this Author

Joseph F. Lavigne, Jones Walker, unfair trade practices lawyer, noncompete violations attorney
Partner

Joe Lavigne is a partner in Jones Walker's Labor & Employment Practice Group and a lead trial attorney for the firm's Trade Secret Non-Compete Team. His practice focuses on prosecuting and defending claims of employee misconduct including trade secret violations, unfair trade practices, noncompete violations, invasion of privacy, Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and theft. He also advises clients on employment policies and practices and negotiates employment agreements for employers. 

504.582.8610
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