Guide to Trade Secrets
You have most likely heard of a secret recipe or a business secret, but you might not know that secrets that provide a business with a competitive advantage can be a form of intellectual property that can be protected from others. These secrets are called “trade secrets,” and they are very important business assets.
What Is A Trade Secret?
A trade secret is any device, technique, method, or information that is not generally known, that gives the trade secret holder a competitive advantage in the marketplace, or that has economic value. Trade secrets are typically used to protect intellectual property that is proprietary or sensitive to a business.
In order for a trade secret owner to have trade secret protection, the trade secret holder must take steps to prevent the general public from learning the secret. So long as the secrecy of the trade secret is maintained, trade secret protection can last indefinitely.
What Can A Trade Secret Protect?
Trade secret protection can be applied to many different things that are ineligible for other types of intellectual property protection. Common information that can be protected by trade secret include:
What Rights Do Trade Secret Owners Have?
Trade secret law generally falls to the states (although many states, including Arizona and California, have adopted a form of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act), and common law. Trade secret protection provides protection against:
Misappropriation of the trade secret by another. Misappropriation occurs when a trade secret is improperly acquired by someone who is not authorized to know the trade secret.
Enforcing Trade Secret Protection
Theft of intellectual property and trade secrets is not tolerated by the courts. A trade secret holder can request an injunction against the party who misappropriated the trade secret to prevent them from using or disclosing the trade secret, and the trade secret holder can seek damages for any economic loss that resulted from the misappropriation of the trade secret.
Can An Attorney Help Me With My Trade Secret?
A certain piece of information that provides economic benefit can be a boon to your business. It can be what makes your product unique or could be the lifeblood of your business model. You need to take steps to protect your valuable secret from theft by others. A trade secret lawyer can help you develop a plan for protecting your intellectual property, can help you implement that plan, and enforce your rights if someone misappropriates your trade secret.
If you have questions about trade secrets as intellectual property, please contact Parsons & Goltry online, or by calling 480-991-3435.
"Our company has worked with a number of patent attorneys and were so pleased when we began working with Parsons & Goltry nearly a decade ago. Mike Goltry's knowledge and attention to detail has enabled us to have numerous products patented and trademarks registered. We highly recommend this Law Firm."
"Michael Goltry is the most professional, honest and effective patent attorney whom I ever met in my 40 year professional engineering career. I started to work with him over 20 years ago and plan to work indefinitely."
"Mr. Goltry took a provisional patent that we'd filed ourselves, and quickly and professionally turned our innovation into U.S. and foreign applications. His [patent claims] were a thing of beauty, and I was amazed by how deftly he countered the inevitable office actions. His language held up, and the U.S. Patent just issued. He was easy and efficient to work with, and his fees were remarkably reasonable. We're not planning to go anywhere else, ever."
"I applied for a patent through Parsons & Goltry. After being on the docket for 2 years at the USPTO, I received notification that my patent request had been denied. Michael Goltry contacted me immediately to review my options. After I informed him of my decision to move forward, he filed a response to the USPTO. In his response he got the examiner to fully understand the claims in the patent application and the "denied" decision was reversed. I was able to secure and receive a "patent granted" decision. Thank you, Michael Goltry."
10643 North Frank Lloyd
Wright Blvd. Suite 201
Scottsdale, AZ 85259
Phone: (480) 991-3435
Phoenix’s premiere patent attorneys serving clients throughout the US and internationally for over 20 years.
Our office is located in Scottsdale, Arizona, but we service clients throughout the United States and Internationally.