Protecting proprietary information is crucial for the success and integrity of any business. However, situations may arise where a previous business partner has stolen such valuable information to establish their own company. This unethical act can have severe consequences, jeopardizing the original business’s competitive advantage and intellectual property.
In such circumstances, it is essential to take decisive action.
Document the theft
It is crucial to gather and document evidence of the theft. This evidence can include any relevant documents, emails or digital communications that demonstrate the theft occurred and the specific information stolen. Ensure that you have clear copies of any contracts, non-disclosure agreements or intellectual property documentation that can establish your ownership rights.
Secure your intellectual property
Take immediate action to secure your remaining intellectual property. Review your internal security measures and enhance them to prevent any further unauthorized access or theft of confidential information. Consider implementing stronger passwords, data encryption, access controls and employee training on data protection. Additionally, inform your current employees about the situation and remind them of their obligations regarding confidentiality and the protection of trade secrets.
Notify relevant parties
Inform any third parties that may experience effects from the theft of your proprietary information. This could include clients, suppliers or business partners who might unknowingly be dealing with the individual who stole your information. By notifying these parties, you can protect their interests and prevent them from inadvertently contributing to the success of the competitor who obtained your proprietary information illegally.
Discovering that a former business partner has stolen your proprietary information can be a distressing situation. However, by taking immediate action you can protect your business’s interests and seek resolution. It is possible to mitigate the impact of the theft and ultimately focus on moving forward.