For most client relationships, you and your client will protect your confidential information using confidentiality provisions in your client agreement. However, there are also state and federal laws that can be used to trade secrets (a type of confidential information). In this post we will explore some of the critical things creators should know about trade secrets.
Generally speaking, a “trade secret” is information that you (a) reasonably attempt to maintain as confidential; and (b) is valuable due to its confidential nature. Practically all kinds of information can be protected by trade secret laws including technical data, non-technical data, formulas, programs, methods, lists, presentations, and more.
The key to protecting your trade secrets is to take reasonable actions to maintain the confidentiality of the information. Here are a few tips on how to do that:
Once you obtain trade secret rights, the protection will last for as long as you maintain the confidentiality of the information.
Once you have a trade secret, you can prevent others from “misappropriating” your trade secret. That means you can prevent them from:
Those rights are quite broad and, if someone is violating your rights, you may have the right to seek injunctive relief to stop them from continuing the violation plus actual monetary damages and sometimes punitive monetary damages.
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There’s so much more to learn! Here are a few related guides you should read: