So you have created the yummiest cookies in the whole wide world. You think that they have the potential to do well in the market. You are considering opening up a store with your special cookie as the main product. But you are afraid that if you do this, you might accidentally reveal your trade secret. You're thinking you should have your secret recipe patented. Now, you're really killing your potential store business.
You should understand that protecting trade secrets can never be done through patent protection. Patented creations are accessible to the public. Therefore, if your cookie recipe has patent protection, then you're just giving away the yummy flavor behind the special cookies.
Your first step in protecting your trade secret is to consider it a trade secret. The definition of trade secret is any formula, invention, idea, process, or pattern that gives the owner a competitive edge in the market. Not only that, your trade secret must also be treated with high confidentiality and secrecy to be considered as such.
Generally, trade secrets are any information that is valuable to the company or valuable to the competitor. For example, a salon can have a trade beauty secret. This salon's trade beauty secret must be valuable information that when disclosed will lead to losing them money. This rule applies to everything, even to an idea on how to create special coupons or to design these coupons.
Now that your recipe is a certified trade secret, your next job is to protect it. Here's how:
- Be careful. It's the least you can do for your trade secret. Be careful with everything or everyone who comes in contact with the trade secret. Some precautions may also be used like marking the trade secret as "Confidential." You may lock it also in a secured box or vault. If the trade secret is in the company computer, make sure that extra protection is given to it to bar access from unauthorized users.
- Be extremely careful. Some big companies like Coca-Cola have extreme protection for their secret Coke recipe. This trade secret is locked inside a bank vault and can only be opened through a resolution signed by the company's board of directors.
- Using a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). The court advises that trade secrets must use this agreement because this is a very important way to keep the trade secret under wraps. All people who know or come in contact with the trade secret should be under this non-disclosure agreement.
- Get informed. There will never be a better way to protect your trade secret than by learning more about your rights as the trade secret owner. The information you can get from the Internet about the definition of trademark law and trademark infringement alone may suffice for your needs. However, it is still best to consult a lawyer so you can take all the legal actions needed to protect your valuable information.
Aside from your trade secret, you should also consider protecting your company from possible trademark infringement. Study the trademark law and never ever let any potential harm to your business be possible.