Sunday, 25 March 2018

What Are Trade Secrets ?

Trade secrets, sometimes referred to as know-how, and other confidential or proprietary information have an important role particularly in Business.

Trade secrets are typically broadly defined and may include:
  • sales methods; 
  • distribution systems; 
  • customer databases; 
  • advertising strategies; 
  • supplier list; 
  • manufacturing processes; 
  • etc 
An example of trade secret is the the combination of herbs and spices used in Kentucky Fried Chicken.

There is no formal registration process in respect of trade secrets.

As know-how is important to a Business, it follows that appropriate mechanisms should be adopted by that Business to protect its trade secrets. A few options might include:
  • Only key personnel of the Business having access to the trade secrets; 
  • Where access is given, the relevant receiver of the information has signed a Confidentiality or Non-Disclosure Agreement; 
  • Checking whether the content of the trade secret might also fall into another category of registrable intellectual property, for example, a design or patent. 
Where there is an infringement of a trade secret it would be necessary for the owner to seek remedies under the common law or equity, such as:
  • breach of a Confidentiality Agreement (or breach of confidence in the absence of a written agreement); or 
  • breach of a restraint obligations (ie. to prevent the disclosure or use of trade secrets), 
which may entail pursuing injunctive relief and/or a claim for damages.

If you require further information or assistance in relation to protecting your trade secrets, we recommend you contact our office to discuss your specific situation.

Contact us for further information:


The material provided in this document is for general information only and is not to be relied upon as advice. No responsibility is accepted for any loss, damage or injury, financial or otherwise, suffered by any person or organisation acting or relying on this information or anything omitted from it.

Copyright © Greyson Legal 2018, All rights reserved.

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