Trade Secrets

(steady classical music) As someone who works in the
intellectual property field, you understand better than
most the important role that intellectual property
plays for businesses and the economy as a whole. Many are familiar with patents,
trademarks, and copyrights, but what about trade secrets? A trade secret can be
anything from a special recipe to a manufacturing process
to a particular technology. Trade secrets can play a big role in a business’ financial
health and competitiveness. Trade secrets foster innovation and provide competitive advantages, but what exactly is a trade secret? Trade secret law is governed
by national legal systems, but the definitions for
trade secret generally share these three common elements. First, a trade secret is
information that has value by virtue of not being generally known. Like a recipe for the best
chocolate chip cookie ever made. Second, the information
has value to others who cannot legitimately
obtain the information, like a business’s competitors
wanting the exact ingredients and their measures in that cookie mix. Third, the information is
subject to reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy. The owner of the recipe puts
security measures in place to make sure not just anyone
can get their hands on it. A trade secret can be almost anything, chemical formulas or food
recipes, product designs, customer and contact
lists, pricing schedules, manufacturing techniques,
and marketing strategies, just for starters. And while it’s easy to
understand the importance of a trade secret, underlying
big name brand products or services, trade
secrets come in all sizes and are important to
companies of all sizes. The failure to identify
and protect trade secrets can result in a loss of
competitive advantage, loss of core business technologies, and reduced profitability. In many countries, the
importance of trade secrets is reflected in laws and
regulations that protect against trade secret theft
because of the impact it can have on the economic vitality of businesses. Patents protect things like new inventions or innovative methods. Trademarks protect things
like logos and branding. Trade secret laws protect
much of the information that makes a business
or service truly unique. But in order to gain this protection, it is the business’ responsibility to identify and secure
their own trade secrets. There’s a lot more to
learn about trade secrets, such as governing law, what it means to misappropriate
another’s trade secret, and what to do when a
trade secret is stolen. If you would like to know
more about trade secrets, the USPTO’s Office of Policy
and International Affairs offers in-person training
programs on various topics related to trade secrets. The Global Intellectual Property Academy will be releasing a series
of distance learning modules devoted to in-depth
training on trade secrets. These distance learning
modules will be accessible to you and your staff so that
you can better understand and use trade secret law in your intellectual
property administration.

4 thoughts on “Trade Secrets

  1. Question: a apriori concept is defined as something so obvious that needs no logical explanationis patent to all who se it?

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this video with us. The minute details covered in the video are very helpful. The examples taken to make the concept understand is easy, this video is helpful for people like us who have their carrier in law. i'll be waiting for more such videos.

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