A trade secret consists of confidential business information which could provide a competitive edge over rivals or competitors of your business. Examples of trade secrets are dependent on the industry you are in and can include a range of manufactured, commercial or industrial strategies and processes. The unapproved use of such information by anyone other than the holder of a trade secret is seen as unlawful and in violation of a trade secret agreement. Under legal proceedings such cases are often made on the grounds of unfair competition or case law on the protection of confidential information.
Trade secrets cover a wide spectrum of the business which includes sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes. Examples of where trade secrets can be subject to unlawful practices include industrial or commercial espionage, breach of contract and breach of confidence.
Trade secrets can be enforced without any registration and can protect a business secret for an unlimited period. For this reason many companies and businesses find trade secrets attractive. A standard guideline is outlined in the TRIPS agreement (Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights).
Before deciding on a Trade Secret the organisation must consider the following:
- The information must be secret within your organisation;
- The secret must have some commercial value;
- It must be unique to your business; and
- The rightful owner of the business must have a confidentiality agreement.
Establishing a trade secret for your business has many advantages:
- Trade secret protection does not have an expiry date;
- Trade secrets involve no registration;
- Trade secrets can be implemented immediately; and
- Trade secrets do not answer to Government authorities.
Throughout the years, Bloomsbury Law has built an international network consisting of the world’s best intellectual property experts all over the world, in various specialisms including trade secrets. Our team can advise on international intellectual property implications and can inform you of any obstacles when required.
If you would like to know more about trade secrets please get in contact with our intellectual property solicitors and we will be able to process your query efficiently and effectively.
What do I do next?
Contact us online or speak to one of our dedicated intellectual property solicitors on 0207 998 7777 for a free initial consultation. With our vast experience in the field, our team will work with you to ensure this process runs as smooth as possible. All information you provide us with is treated with the utmost confidentiality.
We will contact you no later than the next working day to arrange a meeting at our offices in London W1 to advise on the agreement.