Trade Secret


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:

  • Formula
  • Pattern
  • Compilations (e.g., customer lists and other unique compilations of valuable information)
  • Computer software
  • Drawing
  • Device
  • Method
  • Technique
  • Process

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!


Christopher R. Ganter, LLC
2737 Highland Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
(205) 266-0279


The United States Patent and Trademark Office is an agency of the Department of Commerce.

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