Barristers and Solicitors
Patent and Trademark Agents

Trade Secrets & Confidential Information

Definitions:

A trade secret is a secret formula or process used in an article of trade and having commercial value that is not patented (ie. recipe). Confidential information is secret data or information used in business (ie. customer list). The secret nature of such intellectual property is usually protected by agreements or other security measures.

Examples of trade secrets:

Secret recipes and formulas, inventions still under development which have not yet been disclosed to the public or included in a patent application, manufacturing techniques, survey methods, computer algorithms, etc.

Examples of confidential information:

Customer information, identified business opportunities, internal pricing and supplier information, financial information, etc.

Available services:

  1. Prepare, review and negotiate non-disclosure agreements and confidentiality clauses for standard employment and other agreements.
  2. Prepare, review and negotiate trade secret licenses and assignments and manage recordal of such assignments and licenses, when necessary.
  3. Advise clients as to the measures required to maintain trade secrets.
  4. Send cease and desist letters regarding alleged instances of trade secret theft, including those involving departed employees.
  5. Represent parties in litigation involving allegations of trade secret theft, including those involving departed employees.

Useful Information to Provide Legal Counsel:

  1. A detailed explanation of when, where and how the trade secret or confidential information was developed and by whom.
  2. A detailed description of the trade secret or a copy of the confidential information.
  3. A detailed explanation of what measures are employed to keep the trade secret or information confidential.
  4. Copies of any related confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements or employment agreements.
  5. Copies of any related letter of intent, memorandum of understanding, term sheet or discussion sheet.
  6. The results of any investigation conducted to date concerning any alleged theft of the trade secret or confidential information.