Trade Secrets

Trade Secrets

Trade secret is confidential information of a business enterprise. It offers potential economic advantage over others. Trade secrets are like goodwill. The only requirement to qualify as a trade secret is that it must be kept a secret.

Trade secrets may include designs, drawings, plans, data compilation, business strategies, marketing plans R&D related information, etc.

The owner of trade secrets has right to protect it from unauthorized leakage and maintain secrecy. Violation of trade secret could result in unfair competition or tort liability as well as criminal sanctions.

There is no current domestic legislation protecting trade secrets or confidential information. Harm caused by the breach of trust or of contractual protection of trade secrets can be remedied in the courts.

Methods of protecting trade secrets include:

  • Identifying and marking all documents “confidential”.
  • Identifying which employees have access to trade secrets and critical material.
  • Ensuring and maintaining computer security and ensuring that non-disclosure agreements are in place.
  • Recording proof of creation of a trade secret either by self-posting the information and retaining postmarked and sealed envelopes, or by depositing a copy of the information with a third party who keeps a dated copy.