In the world of intellectual property trade secrets are a bit of a black sheep. They play a huge role in protecting a company, but unlike trademarks, copyrights, and patents there’s not a formal process to secure trade secrets.
The term “trade secrets” can apply to a wide variety of issues. Generally speaking a trade secret is information that gives a company a competitive advantage and is reasonably protected from public access.
Perhaps the most famous trade secret is the Coca-Cola formula. This top secret set of instructions to make the fizzy concoction clearly gives an advantage because it can’t be duplicated and it’s kept under close lock and key.
Formulas aren’t the only thing protected by trade secrets, the following are also protected:
In order for information to be considered a trade secret, it needs to be treated as a secret. This means certain precautions must be taken. If trade secrets are ever compromised, the court will want to know what you did to keep the information a secret. Some questions the court might ask are:
Once you’ve properly established information as a trade secret no one can use, copy, or sell it without your permission. People who steal the secret, get the secret from someone else who stole it, or even accidentally discover the secret are not legally allowed to use the information. However, if someone analyzes public information and is able to crack the code, they can legally use it.
There’s some grey area when it comes to trade secrets. If you need help knowing what’s black and what’s white, call the Arizona trade secrets lawyer at Parsons & Goltry.
"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."
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