Although they generally remain unseen (by design!), trade secrets can make significant contributions to the overall value of a given company. A trade secret is typically defined as any confidential information that is secretly held by a business to gain an economic advantage over its competitors. Some common trade secret examples are designs, blueprints, formulas, machine processes, business and manufacturing methods, cost information, office techniques, customer lists, and computer programs, to name a few. Protecting trade secrets is fundamentally different from protecting other forms intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Governed by the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), trade secrets do not require any form of registration or procedural formalities. Instead, since trade secrets are designed to provide for the protection of secret information, they require that the trade secret owner take “efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain” the secrecy of the trade secrets. Here are some of the most standard legal protections available to trade secret owners:
Even though drafting an NDA, NCC, or work for hire agreement doesn’t have to be a complicated process, the agreement, at the very least, should identify the parties involved, indicate the scope of confidentiality, declare any exclusions, determine relevant limitations, and specify any other terms of the agreement. The Concept Law Group has prepared countless agreements of these types, and can help you ascertain whether your information, design, device, process, composition, technique, or formula can be afforded protection. The Concept Law Group can also help you ascertain any possible recourse that you may have if the information subject to a trade secret has been, or will be, misappropriated in any way. In addition to enforcement, the Concept Law Group can also help in defending any person alleged to have misappropriated another’s trade secret. If you are concerned with protecting, enforcing, or defending a trade secret, then you are encouraged to contact the intellectual property attorneys at The Concept Law Group, who will not only listen to you, but also develop a plan to accomplish your goals.