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When many think of trade secrets, they think of the formula for Coca-Cola, KFC's 11 herbs and spices, or Google's search algorithm. But the world of trade secrets goes far beyond these famous examples. In fact, chances are good that your business, large or small, has trade secrets worth protecting.
What Is a Trade Secret?
Trade secrets enjoy strong legal protections, and the importance of trade secrets is growing. Under federal law and the laws of most states, a trade secret is competitively valuable information that:
Trade Secrets Include Customer and Business Information
Trade secrets are not the exclusive domain of tech companies. Businesses in every industry gather and use information every day that can potentially be protected under trade secret law, including:
Trade Secrets Include Technical Knowledge
With patent protection subject to increasing pressures and challenges, more businesses are looking to trade secret law to protect innovation. Protectable technical information includes, among other things:
Know What You Have and How to Protect It
Most businesses have actual or potential trade secrets. In many cases, trade secrets—whether classifiable as "business" or "technical"—are among a company's most precious assets. A trade secret attorney can help your business inventory its trade secrets and implement policies to maximize their value, help prevent devastating damage, and facilitate recovery in the event of theft of misuse.
Law and the Creative Economy is the blog of lawyer Maxwell Goss. This blog is for informational purposes only.