How to protect trade secrets

Protection of trade secret or confidential information often compliments registered and unregistered IP rights. By putting in place confidentiality and non-disclosure arrangements, businesses can protect their know-how and other vital business information. This can include formulas, processes and industrial methods, as well as sensitive business information such as customer lists and pricing information. Surveys have shown that in most economic sectors in the EU, companies consider protection of their trade secrets and confidential information more important than protecting their inventions through patents.* To benefit from the available legal protection for trade secrets, it is vital that those who have the information are aware that it:

  • is confidential
  • is not disclosed to anyone who is not under a duty of confidentiality
  • is not put into the public domain
  • actually has some commercial value now or in the future

*This is according to the EUIOP Observatory report 2017


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