What are Trade Secrets?
If you have an invention, design, or other information that is key to the success of your business, it is important to know that patents, trademarks, and copyrights are not your only options for intellectual property protections. Instead, you might be able to take certain steps to protect them as trade secrets. This means you do not have to disclose your design or formula to the public in order to obtain ownership protection.
Trade secrets can involve physical devices, formulas, processes, ideas, patterns, and collections of information. In order to qualify as a trade secret, the information must:
- Provide you with a competitive advantage in your market
- Be handled in a manner that reasonably keeps the information confidential from competitors or the public
If information meets the above criteria, it does not require you to formally register for protection with a government agency. You simply can continue to protect the information as a trade secret.
Some examples of what trade secrets might protect include:
- New product development
- Recipes for food or drinks
- Survey methods
- Marketing strategies
- Customer lists
- Manufacturing processes and techniques
- Computer algorithms
Once a trade secret is revealed to the public or competitors, it is no longer protected. This means that owners should take the necessary steps to ensure confidentiality within their organization. This can require having employees and developers to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). It is important to affirmatively protect the secret – otherwise, it can lose its trade secret protection.
Contact an Intellectual Property Lawyer in Orlando Today
If you are trying to protect information as trade secrets, or you believe someone has misappropriated your trade secrets, contact the Daniel Law Offices, P.A. Call 866.377.2836 or contact us online to set up a consultation with an experienced Orlando intellectual property attorney. We can help advise on how to best protect your information.