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What is a trade secret?

Trade secrets are any type of formula, method, compilation, recipe, report, list or information that creates independent economic value. If it has such value, it can be a deemed a trade secret if the above is kept reasonably secret from the general public.

If the formula, method, recipe, report, list or other information has that independent economic value and reasonable measures have been taken to keep the above secret, trade secret exists.

One of the more common examples of a trade secret is a business’ customer list. As long as the list is kept reasonably secret, an employer, for example, cannot leave the business’ employ and use the list at a competing company.

Most people don’t typically think of trade secrets as a customer list or other basic information. Instead, they think of a trade secret as the formula for Coke locked up in a safe. That, however, is not the more common example of what a trade secret is. Trade secrets arise out of every day confidential business information and many businesses have one or more trade secrets.

Please Note:Rabin Kammerer Johnson provides these FAQ’s for informational purposes only, and you should not interpret this information as legal advice. If you want advice as to how the law might apply to the specific facts and circumstances of your case, please click here to contact one of our attorneys.

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