Areas of expertise

Legal Protection for Trade Secrets

An established trade secret is vital to the operations of your business. Protecting trade secrets is paramount to maintaining a competitive advantage and establishing your position in your industry. A leak or intentional release of your trade secrets can be devastating to your business, which is why you need a trusted legal partner who will advise you on safeguarding your trade secrets and pursuing legal action on your behalf.

Definition of a Trade Secret

A trade secret is business, financial and technical information kept confidential by its owner through reasonable efforts. Trade secrets are economically valuable because the information is not generally known, and it protects commercially valuable confidential information like business and financial plans, formulas, recipes, and customer information.

For example, Coca-Cola’s soda formula, KFC’s fried chicken recipe, and the source code of Adobe’s Photoshop® software are trade secrets.

How do you protect a trade secret?

Trade secrets are not registered like patents, trademarks, and copyrights. Instead, a business could protect its trade secrets by making reasonable efforts to keep this information confidential, for example, by:


  • Never giving your passwords to anyone
  • Keeping hard copies of trade secret information in locked files or cabinets
  • Never giving confidential information to customers or other individuals outside of the company unless:
    • Authorized by management, or
    • The recipient has signed a written Non-disclosure Agreement
  • Employee confidentiality covenants in Employment Agreements

How long can a trade secret be protected?

Trade secret protection lasts until either:

  • The information becomes publicly available
  • The owner no longer derives economic value or business advantage from the secrecy of the information
  • The owner no longer takes reasonable steps to keep confidential or protect

Trade Secret Protection & Legal Counsel

The experienced legal team at Carlile Patchen & Murphy specializes in safeguarding and protecting trade secrets. If you find yourself dealing with trade secret infringement, trust our tested Ohio intellectual property attorneys to provide expert guidance. Whether you need assistance navigating the legal process, assessing your remedies, or scheduling a consultation, our dedicated team is ready to advocate for the protection of your valuable trade secrets. Contact us today to secure your confidential information with the support of our experienced legal professionals.

How can we help you today?

Give us a call or send a message with any inquiries and legal questions.


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