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What's the secret to protecting trade secrets?

As a business owner, you've likely encountered many challenges throughout your journey, perhaps from the startup phase all the way through to when you began turning a profit. One might say that obstacles are par for the course in business; the key is to arm yourself with resources and a strong support network so you can overcome any problems that arise in a timely and economically feasible fashion. A particular area where many Kansas and Missouri business owners run into trouble has to do with trade secrets.

The term itself is rather broad because trade secrets typically refer to any type of information, program, process, method or design that gives you an edge over your competitors. If someone accesses your trade secrets and uses or shares them without your consent, this is a misappropriation that may be grounds for litigation. One of the most common breaches that often occurs where trade secrets are concerned is when a former business partner or employee obtains client or pricing lists and uses them to an advantage.

Although trade secrets are protected by law, there is no specific registration process to secure protection as there is for copyrights or patents. You would, of course, have to show that you were the rightful holder of the information that was used or shared to a competitor's advantage and that the person who acquired or transferred the information did not have your permission to do so. Satisfying this burden of proof may be one of the biggest challenges you'll face.

While it is possible to go it alone in court when confronting another party regarding theft of trade secrets, it is not the way most Kansas and Missouri business owners choose to address such matters. Many believe it is far better to retain experienced and aggressive legal representation before heading to court. This type of support is often the best means for achieving a positive outcome.

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