Trade Secrets

A trade secret is a formula, process, device, or other business information that companies keep secret to give them an advantage over their competitors. The unauthorized use of such information by persons other than the holder is regarded as an unfair practice and a violation of the trade secret. Depending on the legal system, the protection of trade secrets forms part of the general concept of protection against unfair competition or is based on specific provisions or case law on the protection of confidential information. Unlike patents, trade secrets do not last for a specific term of years.  Trade secret protection continues indefinitely until public disclosure of the secret occurs. Unlike other forms of intellectual property such as patents, copyrights and trademarks, trade secrecy is basically a do-it-yourself form of protection. You don't register with the government to secure your trade secret, you simply keep the information confidential. Trade secret protection lasts for as long as the secret is kept confidential. Once a trade secret is made available to the public, trade secret protection ends.