5. Does remote work weaken trade secrets?
The pandemic has forced many companies — including medtech start-ups — to allow employees to work from their homes using laptops and services like Zoom to keep teams connected and projects moving forward. But has this workplace shuffle endangered your start-up’s ability to defend trade secrets?
Using Zoom and other online meeting services may mean many of a company’s most confidential secrets, source code schematics and competitive intelligence gathering could be accessible from anywhere, according to Schroeder.
“With virtual meetings, many of your company’s meetings are now potentially open for unseen eavesdroppers, whether by sophisticated hackers, inadequate restrictions being placed on the meeting or its recording, or simply to family members at your employee’s houses,” he said.
Now that medtech companies have a handle on remote work and, perhaps, an eye toward returning to the office in some capacity, companies may want to consult with attorneys and IT professionals to ensure their trade secrets remain in full force.
“A complete plan should involve not only an assessment of your company’s trade secrets, but also your IT infrastructure,” Schroeder said. Companies with employees who will remain at home should consider employee education about protecting trade secrets.
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