A trade secret is a formula, practice, process, design, instrument, pattern, or compilation of information which is not generally known or reasonably ascertainable, by which a business can obtain an economic advantage over competitors or customers. In order to qualify for trade secret protection, a company must take some reasonable measures to maintain the secrecy.
It is similar to, but distinctly different from a patent. Whereas a patent is a full public disclosure, only applies to certain categories of patentable matter, and lasts for 20 years, a trade secret is a strictly confidential secret by which the company owning it can gain some form of market advantage and can potentially last forever. In some cases, a trade secret could be patented (thereby revealing it to the world and losing trade secret protection), but a company may choose to keep it as a trade secret instead.
The most famous example of a trade secret is the recipe to Coca Cola.
If you have a trade secret and are unsure how to best capitalize on it or what steps are necessary for proper protection, please call Arabi Law at 657-333-6264 for a free consultation.