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Trade secrets

You should consider keeping something as a trade secret if:

  • it is not appropriate for intellectual property (IP) protection
  • you want to keep it secret or
  • you want protection to extend beyond the term of a patent

If it would be difficult to copy the process, construction or formulation from your product itself, a trade secret may give you the protection you need.

However, a trade secret does not stop anyone from inventing the same process or product independently, and can be difficult to keep.

The law of confidentiality protects trade secrets. To keep trade secrets protected, you must establish that the information is confidential, and ensure that anyone you tell about it signs a Non-Disclosure agreement (NDA). If they then tell anyone about it, this is a breach of confidence and you can take legal action against them.