Trade Secret Protection
Trade secret law provides a mechanism for protecting proprietary and sensitive business information. A trade secret, by definition, is information that has economic value and is secret. There are no formal application requirements to obtain a trade secret. Unlike patents, there are no statutory requirements that a trade secret be novel, useful, non-obvious, and there is no examination process. Trade secret protection arises once the appropriate steps are taken to create a valid trade secret. Trade secrets are not subject to a predefined term, and can be maintained for an indefinite period of time.
What Is a Trade Secret?
Unlike patent law, which has its roots firmly grounded in federal constitutional and statutory law, trade secret law is a state law doctrine that developed out of the common law doctrine of unfair competition and unfair business practices. Until passage of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) in 1985, trade secret law varied significantly from state to state. The UTSA...