A trade secret is proprietary economically valuable information used in a business that is not publicly known. Examples of items that are protectable trade secrets are as follows:
- Compilations (e.g., customer lists and other unique compilations of valuable information)
- Computer software
The examples above can be protected under trade secret law if they are kept confidential. Trade secret protection does not extend to the trade secret itself as a patent would. Trade secret protection is derived from those steps used to keep the trade secret a secret. Namely, protection extends from breach of contract, a confidential relationship and/or a fiduciary duty. There also exists protection of trade secrets from unfair and unlawful practices such as theft, trespass or misrepresentation.
A Trade Secret is as powerful as the efforts and diligence employed to keep it a secret. Various means and methods of protection have been recognized by the Courts as reasonable under a given set of circumstances. Trade Secret protection is available for as long as it is kept secret.
Contact Ganter Law to discuss your options with regards to your trade secrets!