Trade Secrets

A trade secret – proprietary information that is under an obligation to be kept secret.


Almost any confidential, not-publicly known information used in the conduct of one’s business may be protected as a trade secret. For example, a trade secret may consist of formulas, manufacturing techniques and product specifications, customer lists and information, information related to merchandising, costs and pricing, internal company’s practices, and any new business-related ideas.


Purpose of the law – to encourage further creations and developments, promote innovation, and prevent unfair competition.


A Trade Secret must:


      Derive economical value from not being generally known or readily ascertainable

      Be the subject of its owner’s reasonable efforts to keep it confidential


Information that is not considered confidential and therefore cannot constitute a trade secret.  


      Information already in the receiving party’s possession prior to disclosure

      Information that is or becomes generally available to the public other than as a result of the recipient's disclosure

      Information that becomes available to the recipient on a non-confidential basis from a source which is entitled to disclose it non-confidentially

      Information that was independently developed by the recipient, including by means of reverse engineering

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