When you hire a new employee, you invest time, money, and training into them. You teach them the ins and outs of the business, and they adopt the company culture, process, and some intimate knowledge. You hope they never leave, but you’ll want to be protected if they do in current times of high employee turnover.
Employees return tangible items such as cell phones, cars, or computers when they leave your business. Occasionally they may forget to return something insignificant like a charger. Still, most of the time, it’s not a big deal. What they can never return is all of the knowledge they’ve gained under their employment.
Uniform Trade Secrets Act prevents the theft of intellectual property
While you can’t recoup the business insight that an employee takes with them, you can protect yourself if they use that knowledge without your permission. California operates under the protection of the federal Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
The Uniform Trade Secrets Act protects against the misuse of intellectual property. Intellectual property includes everything that makes up your brand name, image, and internal workings. Intellectual property can look like any of the following:
- Logos or Designs
- Product Information
The above isn’t a comprehensive list. Intellectual property can include any creative work obtained and then used without your knowledge or consent.
What if you experience trade secret theft?
You might be tempted to think that without a physical item, you can’t recoup any losses for intellectual property theft. In California, that’s not the case. If your business has been impacted by someone stealing information or trademark property, you do have options. Learning more about business law may help you know the appropriate steps to take.