There are times when clients would prefer to keep their ideas, formulas and processes secret, as opposed to obtaining patent protection, which requires them to disclose their inventions and “secrets” to the public in exchange for a limited period of exclusivity in the market. Trade secrets are fairly common for companies using formulas or processes that give them an advantage over competitors in their respective markets. Most people think of Coca-Cola’s secret formula for its Coke product as the ultimate trade secret. One advantage of a trade secret as opposed to a patent is that unlike a patent, a trade secret lasts as long as it is secret. However, a disadvantage is that if a competitor can reverse engineer a formula or process, there may be little the originator can do about it to protect their secret once it is disclosed.
At Chicago IP Law, we advise and assist our clients in implementing procedures and practices to maintain trade secrets as a “trade secret.” Certain steps and provisions need to be in place within the company to demonstrate as a matter of law that the trade secret must be maintained as such. We at Chicago IP Law provide our clients with the advice they need to protect their trade secrets from threats, within and outside, their organization. With representation from Chicago IP Law, clients will be able to vigorously enforce their rights when any trade secret has been misappropriated.