Guidelines for Protecting Proprietary Information

Proprietary information is any type of business information that has economic value for the creator/possessor. You may know proprietary information as “trade secrets” – info that should not be disclosed to the competition or the general public. These secrets can include formulas, processes, or production methods. For a business with such secrets, keeping them a secret is crucial. An entire business could crumble if such information were to spread.

Examples of Proprietary Information

After the above explanation of proprietary information, let’s further break it down. Proprietary information is any type of information that gives your business a competitive advantage. It could be damaging to the entire company if the secret or secrets were revealed. It’s easy to see why companies wish to control such information at all times.

Examples of proprietary information include:

  • Research papers
  • Technical data
  • Schematics
  • Flowcharts
  • Project code names
  • Bugs
  • Design data
  • Employee information
  • Presentation materials

Protecting Proprietary Information

Proprietary information must be protected. Thankfully, there are a few techniques and safeguards available to your business. Each time a new “secret” is created, it should be properly labeled before release, or even before being safely destroyed. To do this, use proprietary labeling, such as:

  • Company Name Proprietary: Internal Use Only
  • Company Name Proprietary/Confidential: Need-to-Know
  • Company Name Proprietary/Confidential: Registered

Be sure to remove the proprietary label before producing a final version, of course.

Plus, you can take precautionary steps when transferring your proprietary information via electronic communication. For example, when sending an email, label it appropriately to ensure the receiver understands that proprietary information is included within. Plus, you’ll want to carefully confirm the names on emails before sending any piece, especially to a larger audience.

Contact Us

If you suspect your proprietary information has wrongly spread, contact Lucé Evans Law by calling 972-632-1300. We’re happy to sit down with your company and discuss possible resolutions to the situation.