TRADE SECRETS

The Value is Derived from Secrecy

Ensure A Strategy That Will Protect Your Hidden Assets

While trade secrets receive protection without registration, generally, for information to be considered a trade secret, certain conditions must be met

WHAT IS A TRADE SECRET?

The subject matter of trade secrets is usually defined in broad terms and includes sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes. Broadly speaking, any confidential business information which provides an enterprise a competitive edge may be considered a trade secret.

HOW ARE TRADE SECRETS PROTECTED?

In order to benefit from the protection offered under the law, the owner of Trade Secret information must take reasonable steps to keep it secret.   Reasonable steps may include physical and/or cyber security measures, use of contractual agreements, and adhering to marking and security policies.

MEANS OF PROTECTION

What actions must be taken to protect trade secrets can vary drastically depending on the form and type of information to be protected.  Reasonable steps to ensure secrecy may include, but are not limited to, restriction of physical access, cyber-security measures, use of contractual agreements, marking practices, and employee education.

FAQs

The subject matter of trade secrets is usually defined in broad terms and includes sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes. Broadly speaking, any confidential business information which provides an enterprise a competitive edge may be considered a trade secret.

  1. The recipe for Coca-cola.
  2. Kentucky Fried Chicken 11 herbs and spices.
  3. The definition of a New York Times bestseller
  4. McDonald’s Special Sauce
  5. The formula for WD-40
  6. Krispy Kreme doughnuts dough recipe

The value of trade secrets can vary drastically depending on the material being kept secret.  The recipe for Coca-Cola, or customer purchasing information for all of Amazon’s customers are conceivably worth millions of dollars.  While these are exceptionally valuable trade secrets, other trade secrets, including your own, have value.  This value helps set you apart from your competition, and can only be maintained through proper and diligent maintenance.

Protecting your trade secrets allows you to maintain a competitive advantage over competitors, and to sustain the value of the trade secret asset in perpetuity.

Since the value of a trade secret is inherently based on its secrecy the actions to protect potential trade secrets should be taken prior to any potential public, or even private, disclosure.

To benefit from statutory trade secret protection the owner of the trade secret must undertake reasonable steps to keep it secret (e.g., through confidentiality agreements, physical and cyber security measures, and through appropriate marking).

Trade secret protection, unlike many other forms of intellectual property protection, may be perpetual if properly managed and maintained.

Yes.  On May 11, 2016 the US enacted the Defend Trade Secrets Act.  Among other things, the Defend Trade Secrets Act allows an owner of a trade secret to sue in federal court when its trade secrets have been misappropriated, and grants legal immunity to corporate whistle-blowers.   The Act also introduces a civil seizure mechanism for misappropriated trade secrets.  The civil seizure mechanism is a preventative tool employed prior to a formal finding of misappropriation in which a court, on ex parte application by a trade-secret owner, may “issue an order providing for the seizure of property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret that is the subject of the action.”

WHY HIRE A HPKD LAWYER?

We help provide to key to solving your Trade Secret issues!

Your company may have trade secret information that you were not even aware of. Correctly identifying and protecting your trade secrets cannot be done retroactively.  If not properly protected by you such information may not enjoy protection under the law.

You have worked tirelessly to gain a competitive advantage over your competition.  Don’t let others steal your valuable business assets. Take advanced action and protect yourself!

WE OFFER NEARLY 100 YEARS OF PARTNER EXPERIENCE TO BUSINESSES OF ALL TYPES INCLUDING START-UPS.

CALL US NOW: (512) 766-6082