Companies often have trade secrets that they hold near to them, but there’s sometimes confusion about what constitutes a trade secret. In the most general terms, a trade secret is something that helps the company to be successful and is unique to that company’s processes. There are several points to consider if you’re trying to determine if something is a trade secret.
It’s possible for companies to take legal action if their trade secrets are revealed or stolen. The law recognizes that trade secrets do exist. There are some points that can help to determine if something is a trade secret.
Three elements of a trade secret
Trade secrets have three elements. All of these have to be present in order for something to be considered a trade secret. These include:
- Reasonable efforts are necessary to keep the secrecy
- There is an economic value that exists only because of the trade secret not being made public
- People who can’t legitimately obtain the information would find it valuable
There are specific steps the courts can help to prevent trade secret fraud. What happens depends on the circumstances of the situation. If you have reason to believe that your company’s trade secrets have been revealed inappropriately by a former employee, a contractor, an ex-partner or a corporate spy, you may choose to take legal action.
This type of litigation can be complex, but it’s often worth it for the company. This is a chance that you have to protect the elements sacred to the operation of your company. Working with a person who’s familiar with trade secret litigation is critical.