Protecting Confidential Information as a Trade Secret
Anything that a company regards as its confidential property, treats as confidential, and prevents access by others is something that can be protected by a trade secret.
A trade secret is a type of confidential information that receives additional statutory protection according to various state, federal and local laws. A trade secret is information that:
- Is not generally known to the public – in other words, it is confidential information
- Confers some sort of economic benefit on its holder (where this benefit should derive specifically from it not being publicly known, not just from the value of the information itself)
Is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy
While trade secrets can carry more value than ordinary confidential information, it is important to handle both with heightened scrutiny when sharing with parties outside a company or in situations where public disclosure is possible.