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Santa Clara University School of Law High Tech Law Institute

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Trade Secret

Are you wondering what a trade secret is? Do you have an idea or information that you believe is valuable to your business and would you like to ensure that nobody knows it? Have you received a letter stating that you have "misappropriated a trade secret"? If the answer is "yes" to any of these questions, then keep reading for more information about trade secrets!

What is a trade secret? A legal trade secret is information (i.e., a formula, pattern, physical device, or process) that has two characteristics: (1) the information must be a "secret" (i.e., not generally known or readily ascertainable) that provides your business with a competitive advantage; and (2) the creator of the information must take steps to keep the information secret or confidential.

How do you know if you have a trade secret or violated trade secret laws? Please visit our Trade Secret and the links below for more information.

The following sources provided much of the information you see here. For more detailed information, please refer to the following:

  • Milgram, Roger M., Milgrim on Trade Secrets, Matthew Bender & Company (1999).
  • Nolo Press
  • For more information, see the Frequently Asked Questions about Trade Secret.

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