If you are a new business looking to gain a competitive edge in the market, or you are an established enterprise trying to maintain your market share, you are likely to focus on your unique attributes in order to maintain competitive. Part of this effort involves utilizing and protecting trade secrets. At the same time, what constitutes a trade secret is subject to debate.
As such, this post will highlight what a trade secret can (and cannot be) and some basic steps that can be taken to protect them.
For the uninitiated, trade secrets are essentially confidential pieces of information that a business uses to gain a competitive edge in their respective industry. A trade secret can be a secret recipe (a la KFC’s secret fried chicken recipe), a method for procuring sales or training modules, or a specific algorithm that helps in analyzing the field for clients.
Obviously, if a trade secret is taken and used without a business’ consent, the damaged party may seek a number of legal remedies.
But even in the midst of seeking legal remedies, there is a question of how a trade secret can be protected. After all, trade secrets are not registered like a patent or a trademark may be, so there may not be an official notice that information is protected. Because of this, businesses must take certain steps to protect their secrets, including limitations on who can access the information and other protections to guard against leaks.
If you have questions about how to effectively protect a trade secret, an experienced attorney can help.