You invented something novel? Great! Without intellectual property legal protections, your invention has little economic value. The good news is there are many sources of protection available, including patent law, trademarks and trade dress law, copyright law, trade secrets law, misappropriation law, confidentiality law and non-disclosure agreements. Most of these provide simultaneous overlapping protection, and it may be possible for you to get multiple damage awards against an infringer. . . . trade secrets, however, are a different animal.

To have a trade secret, you have to keep it a secret. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which has been substantially enacted in 48 U.S. jurisdictions, defines a trade secret as information (i.e., formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, processes, etc.) that:

Is not generally known in the industry, to the public, or to others who can realize economic value from its disclosure or use;
Has independent economic value, whether actual or potential, that derives from its secrecy; and
Is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy (See e.g., Cal. Civil Code § 3426.1. . . .)

In some cases, keeping your invention a trade secret may be preferable to publicly-registered patents and copyrights. For example, utility patents are only valid for a limited time (i.e., 20 years) whereas trade secrets – like Coca Cola’s formula, the Google search algorithm, and KFC’s Fried Chicken recipe – will last forever so long as reasonable efforts are made to maintain secrecy.

[See the full article by attorney A. James Boyajian on]

Free Special Report – 3 Steps to Licensing Your Trade Secrets

At the most basic level, a trade secret is simply information and knowledge. More specifically, it is often in the form of inventions, know-how, and show-how information that gives you a competitive advantage. Anything that takes time, money, or effort to develop and that you don’t want your competitors to know about. Unlike other forms of intellectual property such as patents, copyrights and trademarks, trade secrecy is basically a do-it-yourself form of protection. You don’t register with the government to secure your trade secret; you simply keep the information confidential. Trade secret protection lasts for as long as the secret is kept confidential.

Click this link to download this Special Report.

Mr. Brenner has over 30 years IP management and licensing experience with various industries including consumer products, food, entertainment, software,health technology, medical devices and digital media. He has led international licensing programs as both licensee and licensor, and through consulting projects focused on strategy and management, outbound / inbound licensing initiatives, and IP audits and due diligence.. He has developed and managed deals with Fortune 1000 companies including Universal Studios, Fox Interactive, Sony Pictures, Dow, Cargill, SmithKline Glaxo, Ranir, Coca Cola, Kellogg’s, Hasbro, Mattel, and others. He is a public speaker and published writer, and has taught classes at the university level. His speaking events have included UC Irvine, Tritech/SBDC, Irvine Chamber, Fast Start Studios, ICFO Investors Conference, San Diego Investment Conference, Westlaw Legal Center (NYC), National Speakers Association, and the Hong Kong FilmArt Expo. He has written several articles on licensing intellectual property which have appeared in the Licensing Journal, Intellectual Property Magazine, and License India.

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