Business Topics: What Defines a Trade Secret

trade secret

Tens of millions of business owners in the US are currently hard at work performing all the duties that may sometimes seem like a daily grind when it comes to necessities like ordering, scheduling, paying bills, and more, but there are also the more fulfilling facets such as creating dazzling marketing campaigns to bring in the customers, adding new employees to strengthen a growing team, making plans and goals and putting them into action, and most importantly, continuing to innovate and entice consumers. This may require registering copyrights—even to include a volume of work—trademarks and service marks, and inventions that must be patented.

Bringing forth new creations into your industry may encompass enormous financial resources, endless hours, and collaborations with a variety of team members, to include independent contractors who may be brought in at different times depending on projects. Some of what you produce may end up becoming trade secrets that are vital to your business for as long as it is running, and there is plenty to know about what defines them—and how to protect them.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, a trade secret (also serving to ‘complement’ the patent) is used for business purposes and may comprise the following:

  • Formulas
  • Patterns
  • Compilations
  • Programs
  • Devices
  • Methods
  • Techniques
  • Processes

The USPTO states that courts can not only help businesses protect their trade secrets by ‘ordering parties that have misappropriated a trade secret to take steps to maintain its secrecy, as well as ordering payment of a royalty to the owner,’ but they can also force parties responsible for misappropriation to pay substantial fines and costs related to damages and legal fees. It is also up to the holder of the trade secret to make sure they do indeed maintain its secrecy; if they do not, it is then considered ‘released.’ The Bolender Law Firm can assist you in all intellectual property matters. Call us at 310-320-0725 now or submit an easy consultation request online. We are here to help!

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