What is a trade secret?

| Oct 9, 2020 | Trade Secrets

If you ask someone what a trade secret is, they may look at you as if the name is self-explanatory. It is a secret that is important to your company, in your trade. It’s a critical piece of information that you don’t want the competition to know so that you can keep your share of the market.

That’s all true, but the Defend Trade Secrets Act does help to define what a secret is and when and how you can protect it. It’s more than just a generalized idea. Examples of trade secrets include the following:

  • A formula
  • A program
  • A pattern
  • A device
  • A compilation
  • A method
  • A technique

For instance, imagine that you run a craft brewery. What sets your beer apart is the exact formula you use. While anyone can do quick research and learn how to brew using yeast, hops and malt, they can’t brew your exact beer. They may not know exactly what hops you use, for instance, or how long you run the boil.

Even if they do know those things, they may not know the exact amount of malt, when you add it to the boil, or what additional ingredients you add that make your beer unique. This is why you have many breweries that all make IPAs, porters, stouts and other popular varieties, but they are all a bit different. That difference is critically important to each craft brewer.

You need to know how to defend your trade secrets. They can make or break your business. Be sure you fully understand your legal options to protect your intellectual property and your business. An experienced advocate can help you learn more.