What Qualifies as a Trade Secret?

We all want to protect the things that matter most to our businesses, but the line can become blurred when it comes to what qualifies for protection as a trade secret. Thankfully, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, or USTA, has a clearly laid out set of considerations that are used to determine whether or not a piece of information is considered a trade secret. 

Requirements for Trade Secrets

A wide variety of information could qualify as a trade secret, including but not limited to a design, method, or process that is unique to your business. The uniqueness of this information, and its being integral to your business, are the primary considerations for what may or may not be covered as a trade secret. The design of machinery or other mechanical processes that are essential to the manufacturing of a product is also a likely candidate for trade secret consideration, as the unique process and its operation are integral information that should be kept secret in order for your business to remain competitive.

Depending on your jurisdiction, the considerations for a trade secret may differ. In all cases, trade secrets must not be public information – this goes without saying, as if it were public, there’s not much to be done to protect it. While this may seem simple, some companies run into difficulties keeping their information private, which can lead to a loss of protection. If the information becomes public knowledge, it loses trade secret protection.

Next, the trade secret must provide some sort of economic benefit to the business. Your trade secrets will not receive protection if they are not used to gain an economic advantage over competitors, as the trade secret process is designed to protect proprietary information which is costly to develop and often sought after by competitors. 

Most importantly, your business must be actively protecting the information. Businesses that loosely handle their trade secrets will not be able to take advantage of trade secret protection, as they failed to put forth the effort necessary to protect the information in the first place. Similar to trademark law, it is expected that you monitor trade secrets and take steps to ensure their protection, otherwise you will lose the right to utilize trade secret protections.

If you’re ready to take the next step in protecting your business’s most valuable assets, contact Reyes Law Group today. We provide expert-level litigation if your business ever faces an issue in defending your trade secrets.

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Reyes Law Group

Reyes Law Group represents clients in a multi-disciplinary legal practice involving real estate transactions and litigation with a “footprint” that covers the State of Florida. Over the firm’s first 10 years, Reyes Law Group has closed over $100M in commercial closings, representing buyers and sellers in contract negotiations, due diligence, and the related title review and policy issuance related to closings. In litigation, the firm has commercial litigation experience focused on prosecuting or defending claims such as breach of contracts, partition actions, trade secret violations, and breach of non-competes. However, our firm’s MAIN FOCUS is assisting asset and loan portfolio managers, investors and private lenders with a “ 4-PILLAR APPROACH” to the legal challenges they face with non-performing assets: 1) LOAN WORKOUTS; 2) COMMERCIAL FORECLOSURES (across the State of Florida); 3) COMMERCIAL EVICTIONS; and 4) REO COMMERCIAL CLOSINGS.30+ years’ legal experience means - WE CAN HELP!

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