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A trade secret is a property right in a plan, process, mechanism or compound, the protection of which is a private contractual matter between parties.

This can include a variety of information and material of a commercial, financial, industrial, technical or scientific nature - anything from a client or supplier list to a manufacturing process to a marketing method can constitute a trade secret. Unlike a patent however, as soon as the secret is discovered in any honest way, the discoverer has the full right to use the information.

There can be great value in properly protecting a trade secret - having exclusive information that is not widely known or not easily obtainable can give you a significant competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Aventum’s Trade
Secret Expertise

Aventum IP Law LLP can help you protect your trade secret by drafting appropriate contracts, such as non-disclosure and non-competition agreements, in addition to suggesting added safeguards to defend your valuable assets.

Trade Secret

As long as the information qualifies as a trade secret, there is no time limit to its protection.

There are some significant advantages that patent protection offers over trade secret protection:

  • There are many inventions that can’t be protected as trade secret. Why? When the inventions are commercialized it is readily apparent to the public and competitors what they are, which means they lose their secrecy.
  • Even if you are able to commercialize your invention without revealing sufficient information, there is always the risk of your competitors figuring it out on their own. Trade secret protection will not stop competitors from making and selling the invention if they are able to develop the invention through their own legitimate efforts (including reverse engineering of a lawfully acquired product).
  • There is always a risk that a trade secret will be lost either through misappropriation or even inadvertent disclosure.

To learn more about patents click here.

Yes, once the patent application becomes public you will no longer have trade secret protection.

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