An alternative to other IP rights
A trade secret can be extremely complex or simply the answer to "what do you have that your competitors lack?". Unlike, for example, a patent, trade secrets are protected without formal government processes. This means that a trade secret can be protected for an unlimited period of time and that trade secrets, in certain situations, can be particularly attractive to small and medium-sized companies.
Most things can become trade secrets
Examples of trade secrets are programs, methods, techniques, processes, devices, marketing materials, strategies, technical prototypes, client lists or other compiled information. The list goes on.
A trade secret takes effect immediately
A trade secret is a cheap alternative to registered rights (no fees or renewal costs), the protection is immediate and can live on forever, as long as the information is kept secret of course.
Identification of a trade secret
Trade secrets are often poorly documented and also spread between different information carriers (eg data files, papers, manuals or even in the minds of employees). Good documentation of the information you want to keep secret is the key to a trade secret that can be described and valued!
Utilize trade secrets in your business
A trade secret can be extremely complex or simply the answer to "what do you have that your competitors lack?". Unlike, for example, a patent, trade secrets are protected without formal government proceedings.
To define trade secrets
- CLASSIFICATION should be made based on the level of control you need to have, the type of information it is about, what it relates to, where in the company the information is located and a few more aspects.
- THE VALUE should be defined on the basis of how much the trade secret contributes to the company's success or how much it will potentially contribute to the company's success (in the short or long term).
- When classification and value are defined, an ACTION PLAN should be created for the various trade secrets.
Using trade secrets
- The trade secret must have a commercial value, why else treat it as a secret?
- You can save the trade secret for future use in various contexts or for development.
- If it is not included in your future business plan, you can sell it.
- You can license it to someone else.
- You can throw it away.
- You can make it available for "open source" (eg to contribute to improvement in a current technology area).