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What is a trade secret?

As a Georgian entrepreneur, you have a lot of unique ideas, innovative plans and ground-breaking technology that you want to use to change your field of work. You have likely also heard of the term trade secrets before, but what exactly are they?

The World Intellectual Property Organization defines a trade secret as confidential information that gives a business a leg up on its competition. This is a very general definition, and the actual legal boundaries of what does or doesn’t constitute a trade secret is determined on a state by state basis. However, the scope of trade secrets are likely much more narrow than you believe. Not every part of your business process could be considered a trade secret. Generally speaking, these secrets are things that you would never want to fall into a competitor’s hands. Some examples include:

  •          Information about suppliers and customers
  •          Formulas for products
  •          Business models
  •          Production processes

Marketing strategies can also fall under this category. Anything that gives you an advantage in your playing field could technically count, though the larger the advantage, the more likely it is that you are dealing with a trade secret. If you are still not certain whether or not you’re dealing with a trade secret, you could always ask a legal professional for their opinion, or check Georgia’s business laws for any stricter definitions that might apply to your specific area of business.

These secrets are vital to the unique success of your company. Therefore, it becomes important for you to understand how to protect them from people outside of the company who might want that knowledge to bolster their own business.

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8215 Roswell Road, Building 800
Atlanta, GA 30350

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Robert Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the May issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.Alex Kaufman has been selected as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in ‘Commercial Litigation’ as will be published in the December issue of The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazine.

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