Trade Secrets Audit & Protection

Audit. Protect. SafeGuard.

3 simple steps that will maximise the commercial value of your trade secrets

Today, intellectual property is one of a company’s most valuable assets.

However, while businesses employ increasingly sophisticated strategies to protect their patents, trade marks and designs, recent studies show that, despite their value, many companies still do not afford their trade secrets the same degree of protection.

Sometimes this is because a business hasn’t taken the time to identify the trade secrets they have. Sometimes it’s because they feel they don’t have any; that trade secrets are limited only to the recipes behind Coca Cola, WD40 or Kentucky Fried Chicken, or the technology behind Facebook or Google.

This is certainly not the case. All businesses have trade secrets. And all businesses must protect their trade secrets.

Moreover, the need to protect trade secrets actively and effectively has never been greater.

Trade secret laws are changing. This means loopholes are likely to be exposed, with the ever-increasing prevalence of this threat demonstrated by the corresponding increase in trade secret litigation every year.

The regulatory environment is changing too. Legal reforms are challenging the efficacy of other forms of IP and all over the world tax authorities are taking a greater interest in companies’ intangible assets.

And the trading environment is changing, with greater emphasis being placed on innovation and outsourcing. Indeed, certain businesses are starting to display a worrying determination to disrupt or even start trade wars in certain sectors.

If that wasn’t enough, there is also the higher staff churn, increased data security risks and changing working environments caused by Covid-19 to contend with.

All these factors only add to the level of risk to your trade secrets.

We have created SafeGuard to make tackling and minimising this risk as straightforward as possible by helping you to:

  • Put in place a strategy for identifying and auditing your trade secrets
  • Assess the current level of protection around your trade secrets
  • Create the legal and compliance framework required to protect your trade secrets
  • Implement a comprehensive compliance framework so your trade secrets are protected
  • Remain vigilant so you can address potential threats before they become an issue
  • Create an action plan so that you can take immediate action if your trade secrets are threatened


The quick answer is SafeGuard will provide your trade secrets with the level of protection they deserve. 

Given the vital contribution your trade secrets make to your commercial and financial success and how much they add to the value of your business, this should be reward enough for your efforts. However, having effective and comprehensive trade secret protocols in place will also deliver a number of additional benefits including:

  • Providing you with a real-time view of your company’s trade secret portfolio so you always know what assets you have, how they are being managed and which of your trade secrets can be de-classified
  • Reducing the likelihood of your trade secrets being misappropriated by your (ex)employees, directors, investors, suppliers, customers, partners, and competitors
  • Making sure you don’t become a victim of the continuing increase in trade secret disputes
  • Giving you a clear road map that you can use to develop the strongest possible framework to manage your trade secrets rather than wasting unnecessary time and expense learning by trial and error
  • Ensuring that you have taken every reasonable step to keep your trade secrets secret (including the marking of trade secret documents, introducing access management and administrative processes and technical and legal protection mechanisms, and logging and tracking any trade secret metadata)
  • Setting up a process to make sure your trade secrets receive regular reviews and maintenance, so their commercial value is upheld and they remain aligned with your company’s commercial objectives


While every project is different, depending on your business and your particular assets, SafeGuard typically follows our straightforward 3-step process:


Once you’ve identified your trade secrets and are taking steps to protect them, you need a way to manage them.

As you might imagine, this can involve considerable administration and compliance work. Nevertheless, the right technology will instantly make the process quicker, easier and more straightforward.

Potter Clarkson’s Trade Secret Registry (powered by Aon) is the right technology.

Potter Clarkson’s Trade Secret Registry is the simplest way to track and protect the invaluable trade secrets at the heart of your business.

It’s not just the perfect tool for simplifying the administrative side of your portfolio - it also adds an additional level of security that more traditional alternatives can’t provide.


Would you like to find out more about the SafeGuard process? You can arrange to speak to one of our team by providing us with your details below or download the SafeGuard brochure.