Trade Secrets are something which are not generally known and which help a business compete. Trade Secret Protection is very important to many businesses because it goes to the heart of the competition. This is especially true today as businesses compete against each another from all-over the world for sales of products and services. Trade Secrets are so important that most countries including most states within the United States protect Trade Secrets from theft by competitors and hackers as they try to steal these secrets.
If it is proven that a trade secret was stolen, a court can stop the continued use of the information, require monetary payment for any harm suffered and require the parties to take steps to maintain the secrecy of the information. However, trade secret protection only protects information which is truly secret. If the trade secret holder fails to maintain the secrecy of the information of if the information is capable of reverse engineering or otherwise discoverable, it is not protectable.
Unlike, patents or copyrights, Trade Secret Protection last as long as the information is secret. Think of the recipe for Coca-Cola. It is and will continue to be protected as a trade secret as long as it is a secret. It has already lasted since 1886 and could last for hundreds of years.
Generally, trade secrets are any type of resource which is owned by a company which are secret and provide value to a company by being a secret. For example, a chemical production process may be a trade secret. Confidential customer lists, recipes, business processes, manufacturing techniques, computer algorithms and marketing strategies are also examples of trade secrets.
Trade Secret Protection
There are many ways you can protect your company’s trade secrets, for example:
a) contracts with confidentiality provisions, including trade secret agreements, non-disclosure agreements;
b) by keeping the information secret, preventing reverse engineering and only disclosing the information to those who must know and only then, to the extent necessary; and
c) by enforcing your contracts and keeping the information secret. Reverse engineering and uncontrolled disclosures can erode your trade secrets.
If you would like assistance with your trade secret protection please contact us at 1-888-472-0020.