"Intellectual property law is complicated. It protects legal rights associated with intangible and never-before-seen items. The IP field is full of jargon and contradictions, has few bright-line rules, and is studded with “I-know-it-when- I-see-it” tests and standards. It is little wonder, therefore, that many general practitioners throw up their hands when it comes to their clients’ IP issues, and either ignore these issues outright or refer the clients out to high-cost specialists. However, a generalist can take many precautions to nurture and protect her client’s IP holdings, particularly its trade secrets.
Although all forms of intellectual property can lose value when they are not properly looked after, no category of IP can lose its value as quickly as material that—with just a bit of attention from a business lawyer— can qualify for state and federal trade secret protection. Because careless and vindictive employees are often the guilty parties in trade secret misappropriation cases, attention to the agreements and policies that govern employees behavior is especially useful."