What is a Trade Secret?

What is a trade secret

What is a Trade Secret?

Trade Secrets is form of intellectual property rights that protects know-how, processes, methods etc. - almost anything that can be kept a secret.

What can be protected?
Any information about your business, products, processes, customers etc. that you don’t want your competitors to know

Well-known examples

  • Google search algorithm
  • Coca-Cola formulation

Steps to protect Trade Secrets

  • confidentiality agreements, NDAs
  • employment agreements
  • measures to protect trade secret information (electronic and physical measures)


  • no registration required
  • cheaper than other forms of IP
  • broad scope of protection (e.g. can protect items potentially not registrable under other forms of IP)

Potential drawbacks

No guarantee of exclusivity. For example, if someone discovers the secret on their own (without accessing your information) and the information becomes public, you lose the trade secret protection.

Indefinitely, provided the trade secret remains a protected secret.

The above content is for informational purposes only and is not legal or professional advice.