Home - Intellectual Property Rights - Trade Secrets
Trade secret signifies the secret formula or the key point which is kept confidential from the business rivals with an intention to get an extra advantage in the respective trade and hence enjoy some extra economic gain. A trade secret may be a chemical formula, a manufacturing process, a design, a preserving material or anything which can play a role in giving an extra edge to the holder. The definition of Trade secret varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but there are some common points like :
- It is not made public.
- It facilitates some extra financial edge to the holders.
- The holder always puts some effort in maintaining secrecy.
- The information or the data is always important to him and even to his rivals.
Every enterprise or organization put its hardest effort to safeguard the confidentiality of its trade secret. They enter into an agreement with their employees they would not disclose the information or data in any case. In this case, it is not restricted for a particular period of time. Unlike patent, it never expires.
There is no particular international treaty(s) in case of trade secret like it remains in case of copyright or patent. Moreover, there is no standard definition which is accepted globally.
The owner of the trade secret puts full effort to prevent any kind of slipping of secret keys from his hand to his rival. Before they get appointed, the workers have to sign some contracts that in no case they will break the secrecy of their success. Any violation of the contract or failure to maintain the secrecy may lead him to financial penalty or other kind of punishment. In case any company is found to use any unlawful activities to break the secrecy of the trade secrets, he can be sued as per the law of the country.
Some Tips for Maintaining the Secrecy of Important Trade Secrets :
- All the files and folders in the computers and all the documents which need to be kept secret must be signed or at least given a mark.
- Only those people should be provided accessibility who have genuine reason to know the information.
- It should be made mandatory for all, who are in touch with the trade secrets, to sign the agreement of non-disclosure.
- These trade secrets should be kept in a safe private zone where the accessibility is restricted.
- All employees should be aware that they are not disclosing any secret information in any circumstances even unknowingly.