Trade secrets are proprietary pieces of information, unknown to others, that give you an advantage over competitors. While thoughts of trade secrets often conjure such iconic examples as the formula for Coca-Cola or Colonel Sanders’ “11 herbs and spices,” they can be far more mundane. However exotic a trade secret might be, all businesses have them and the central key to protecting them is keeping them confidential. This post will show some of the steps that can be implemented to ensure protection of your proprietary information.

  1. Create Processes to Identify Trade Secrets in the First Instance

As noted, trade secrets are things not generally known outside your organization that provide you with an advantage over competitors. While trade secrets can take many forms, the cornerstone is they are meant to be confidential. Trade secrets can include, among other things, recipes and formulas, process steps, customer lists, supplier information, pricing schedules, forecasts, business plans and prototypes. The key consideration is they are things you want kept hidden from competitors.

Continue Reading 5 Tips to Protect Your Proprietary Information

ConfidentialBusiness relationships often lead to the exchange of sensitive information or access to highly confidential matter. When faced with this situation, is it enough to merely tell your business partner that something is confidential? According to a recent decision, it appears the answer is no.

Trade secrets are those things that provide your business with a competitive advantage over others. Classic examples of trade secrets are the recipe for Coca-Cola or Colonel Sanders’ blend of herbs and spices. Many different types of information can be protected as a trade secret. However, in order to maintain a trade secret and protection for it, the owner of a trade secret must take “reasonable steps” to protect the information from disclosure to others.

Lessons from the WSI Decision

Continue Reading The Pitfalls of Informal Confidentiality Arrangements