A trade secret is a unique form of intellectual property which may include a formula, technical or nontechnical data, a pattern, compilation, program, device, process, method, or technique. In order to constitute a trade secret, the information must be maintained with secrecy, must provide a competitive advantage to the owner and must not otherwise be generally known, publicly available, or readily ascertainable.
Trade secrets may be protected under various state and federal laws and have advantages over other types of intellectual property. Most state laws define trade secrets in broad terms, which allows for protection of numerous types of information and ideas, ranging from detailed technical calculations to business information such as product pricing and customer lists, which might not otherwise be protectable as patents, trademarks, or copyrights. Further, unlike many other forms of intellectual property, the protection for trade secrets may last indefinitely.
The enforcement of a trade secret revolves first and foremost around the owner’s own efforts to protect the information. Kirton McConkie’s intellectual property lawyers can assist clients in identifying protectable trade secrets and implementing internal policies and procedures to maintain them, through a variety of mechanisms including physical and virtual security protocols as well as confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
In the event trade secrets are misappropriated, our intellectual property litigation attorneys advise clients of all available options and remedies and represent them in enforcement through legal action as necessary.
In all instances, Kirton McConkie intellectual property lawyers will take appropriate measures to assist clients in safeguarding and protecting their most valuable assets.
- Trade Secrets SeminarJune 4, 2013