trade-secrets-texas-businessWhen you have intellectual property that is important to your business, it is imperative that you put in place certain legal protections to prevent wrongful and harmful misappropriation of that property. The most common protections include copyrights, trademarks, and patents.[1] Another perhaps lesser known type of intellectual property protection that can be highly beneficial for a business is classifying your intellectual property as a trade secret. The following are two main reasons why you may want to choose trade secret protection.[2]

Abstract ideas

Patents are used to protect inventions or formulas for products, however, many people are denied patents for a variety of reasons. This is often because the formula is an abstract idea and does not qualify for a patent. In such situations, trade secret protection is a valuable option because trade secrets can be abstract ideas, software code, algorithms, or similar information, which is especially important in today’s technological age. For example, Google uses trade secret protection for its highly sought-after but little-known search engine algorithm. 

No disclosure requirement

When you apply for a patent, one requirement is that you have to disclose the details of your formula or design to the public. This is so the public has an opportunity to improve upon your ideas. However, there is often significant value in not sharing the details of your intellectual property. Trade secrets, by nature, must be kept secret and, therefore, there are no disclosure requirements. Some companies that have famously kept protected information secret include Coca-Cola for their soda recipe, WD-40 for its chemical formula, and Mrs. Field’s Cookies for the chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Contact an experienced business lawyer in Houston for help with your business today

Laws regarding intellectual property and other important aspects of business can be complicated and confusing and, moreover, legal disputes regarding these matters can have a substantial negative effect on the success of your business. Houston business attorney Andrew Weisblatt has extensive experience helping all types of businesses with a wide range of legal matters. If you have any kind of legal issue or dispute, call the Weisblatt Law Firm, LLC to discuss your situation today.

References:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patent
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Trade_Secrets_Act

 

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