Before we dive into examples of trade secrets or should know a little bit about what trade secrets are. A trade secret is information. Maybe it’s a formula, a pattern, a program, a device, a technique or recipe. This is a valuable secret that makes your company different from all the others in your industry. This is defined as a secret that is unknown to competitors and invites a competitive advantage to the business.
There are no registrations or evaluation processes to have a trade secret. This is because having a trade secret holder register and disclose the trade secret such as a patent would require, would defeat the purpose of a trade secret. Therefore, there is no database or overseeing body. A trade secret is only required to be proven valid if it is forced into the light by a trade secret misappropriation action against the company. The court will then analyze that trade secret along with the other companies' trade secret and a sermon if it satisfies the requirements for trade figure under the uniform trade act or other state laws.
Under the UTSA (which, is not a binding regulation but serves as an important frame of reference) a trade secret has to meet three major requirements to be protected. First, the trade secret has to derive economic value from the secrecy that is being provided; secondly this information cannot be readily known or ascertainable, especially by the public; thirdly, the trade secret holder has to use reasonable efforts to keep the secrecy of this secret.
But what exactly is an economic value from secrecy? Well, it really depends on a couple of factors, it is not so much about what the trade secret costs by physically existing. It is more about the value to the company that the trade secret has. What value with this trade secret has the competitors, how much effort or money is being placed into developing this information, and so much more helps to decide economic value.
And what does it mean to be not generally known or readily ascertainable? So for a trade secret to remain valid it cannot be widely known or easily discoverable. This information has to be secret and it must be capable of remaining secret. So if the process of creation is manufacturing this product can be discovered by looking at the product and it will not qualify as a trade secret. There are certain factors that are considered including the ease of information that can be acquired, duplicated or reverse engineered, the extent of knowledge of this information outside of the business and the extent the information is known within the business that help discern whether it is a trade secret or not.
Finally the most important part of the big three when maintaining a trade secret is the reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy. To ensure there are reasonable efforts that are maintained, a company needs to enact protective measures such as restricting access of trade secrets to essential personnel, mocking documents is confidential, marking areas that are restricted good as restricted, placing barriers and locked doors and security guards around areas that are sensitive.
Trade secrets are not the only kind of intellectual property protection with which American companies concern themselves. Patents, copyrights, and trademark registrations are also regular matters of concern for businesses of all sizes, and that are located all over the U.S. As a result, it is important to speak with a trade secret lawyer Bakersfield, CA business owners trust about crafting a broader intellectual property strategy once any of your trade secret concerns have been initially addressed.
At Sierra IP Law, PC, we take great pride in helping our clients with all of their intellectual property needs as those needs evolve. If your company is innovative and has created any useful products or novel product designs, we can assist you with securing patent protections for these inventions. We can also assist you with copyrighting any unique artistic works or works of original authorship that have not been formally registered. Additionally, we can assist you with formally trademarking your company’s name, logo(s), marketing slogans, and any other such tools that are used to define your brand.
Failure to approach broader intellectual property concerns in a proactive way can leave your business vulnerable to liability and accusations that you have stepped on another party’s intellectual property rights. Costly litigation related to these matters could significantly impact the wellbeing and stability of your business. As a result, it is important to connect with the knowledgeable team at Sierra IP Law, PC as soon as you can. Once we understand the nuances of your business, we can craft a broader plan of action that meets your needs uniquely in efficient, effective ways.
Another concern that our firm’s Bakersfield, CA trade secret lawyer team can assist you with involves privacy-related compliance issues. Nondisclosure agreements help to ensure that a company’s competitive edge in the marketplace is safeguarded via privacy-related contractual terms. However, companies need to worry about more than their unique privacy concerns. They must also be concerned with safeguarding the privacy rights of their employees, customers, visitors to their websites, etc.
The experienced California team at Sierra IP Law, PC can help to clarify what your company’s privacy-related obligations are under the law and can help you to maintain compliance will all relevant local, state, and federal privacy regulations. Additionally, even if you do not do business overseas, your business may be obligated to honor certain international privacy-related statutes. For example, if any of your online visitors reside in Europe, you may be bound by a specific law concerning the data privacy rights of European residents. Our firm’s Bakersfield, CA trade secret lawyer can help you to navigate all relevant laws and regulations—including those that are seemingly irrelevant but could impact your business in a big way.
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