The new Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and how it will affect you

Small business tips - SandGarden Law GroupUnderstanding how trade secrets (and the new Trade Secrets Act of 2016) affects every business, whether you think you have trade secrets or not.

Trade secrets are a type of Intellectual Property protection. Many small businesses assume that unless they are a high tech company or an inventor, the concept of “trade secrets” does not apply to them. However, the idea of a trade secret has always been defined very broadly. It can mean any type of confidential or secret information that gives a business a competitive edge. The most famous trade secret in the business world is the recipe for Coca Cola. For years the exact ingredients for Coca Cola has been a closely held secret by the Corporation, because the unique taste of Coca Cola is so valuable. Keeping the formula secret gives the corporation a competitive edge. But trade secrets are much more than just formulas and recipes. Supply chain deals that are unknown to your competition, prospect or customer lists that have not yet been mined or exhausted, a custom-made database that makes your work more efficient, even the name of a guy who knows a guy with a great deal; any valuable business information that is not generally known can be a trade secret.

The new Trade Secrets Act of 2016 gives business owners new tools to protect trade secrets that all business owners should know about. Not only will you need to know it to protect your own trade secrets, you should also know about it even if you have no trade secrets that you know of, because the new law affects all business interactions.

In our new series we look at all the information you need to know about the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. We will break it down into 7 small topics to help you understand how trade secret protection works, what the new legislation changes, and what steps you should take to protect your business. If you are a contractor or use a Non-Disclosure or Confidentiality agreement you should definitely read all the way through to the end, so that you can understand the changes that will affect you. Here’s a list up the upcoming topics.

  • What are the basics of Trade Secrets Protection?
  • What is the new Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and how does it work?
  • What is Civil Seizure and should I be worried about it?
  • What do employers need to know about the new Trade Secrets Act?
  • What do contractors need to know about the new Trade Secrets Act?
  • How will the new Trade Secrets Act affect all small businesses, even those who don’t have any Trade Secrets?
  • Understanding how the new Trade Secrets Act will change your NDAs.

Stay tuned for each installment. And if you have questions, ask us at SandGarden Law.

SandGarden Law Group of Sunnyvale, CA provides creative and accessible legal solutions for individuals, families, and small businesses.

One Comment

  1. […] As we discussed last week, trade secrets are a type of Intellectual Property protection.   The courts define “trade secret” very broadly.  It can mean any type of confidential or secret information that gives a business a competitive edge.  Some examples of trade secrets: survey methods used by professional pollsters; formula for a sports drinks; recipes; a new but unpatented invention; manufacturing techniques; marketing strategies; and computer code or algorithms.  Trade secrets can even mean a good prospect list or supply chain.  Trade secrets are any valuable business information that is not generally known. […]

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