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By J.D. Houvener
Patent Attorney and Founder

Hi everyone, I’m J.D. Houvener, your host of the Bold Today Show, where the inventor or entrepreneur gets your daily inspiration so you can go make the world a better place. [Music]

We’re in our trade secret series here, and we just talked yesterday, introduced the whole subject matter, making sure that you’re aware of the differences between trade secret and patent law. Today we’re going to talk about actually implementing some of this, right? Maybe you’ve got a business that’s already up and running, you’ve got employees going, how do you get started? Well, it begins with awareness and education. You’ve got to train your employees on how to identify a trade secret when they come across it.

So, while it’s kind of funny to say you’ve got to be able to mark or identify whether digitally or physically, writing or stamping on the document that it is a trade secret. Or you can also use the words confidential or proprietary, these are different words that are interchangeable that mean, look, this document is not to leave the company. And in some cases, it’s only limited in circulation to a few employees within the company. So, there’s certainly a process, and oftentimes it takes the counsel of a trade secret attorney to go to help you assess, do this initial assessment audit, if you will, of your entire workplace.

Taking a careful look at the research and development group, the business group, and even the sales group to identify trade secrets that exist within a company. When people hear about trade secrets, it’s often a misconception that they think, gosh, this has to be some technical problem, a very complicated issue that is keeping secret. And there was a case, trade secrets can sometimes be something very simple, as simple as a customer list or a business process. How do you and your company move the goods from warehouse A to warehouse B? That’s actually a trade secret, whether you know it or not.

As a part of this assessment and education process, it’s huge making sure that all of your employees understand when they see a mark that says proprietary to company ABC, they know that it belongs to the company and they’re not to share that information even to any other outside vendors and certainly outside the company. Hope this has been educational for you. If you have any questions about trade secrets, please give us a call.

About the Author
J.D. Houvener is a Registered USPTO Patent Attorney who has a strong interest in helping entrepreneurs and businesses thrive. J.D. leverages his technical background in engineering and experience in the aerospace industry to provide businesses with a unique perspective on their patent needs. He works with clients who are serious about investing in their intellectual assets and provides counsel on how to capitalize their patents in the market. If you have any questions regarding this article or patents in general, consider contacting J.D. at