Trademarks And Trade Secrets

Trademarks And Trade Secrets

Most of the people have a wrong notion that trade mark and trade secrets are one and the same thing. But this is absolutely wrong. Trademark is something that has been registered by the company with the United States Patent and Trademark office (USPTO). It is that distinctive feature of a product, be it its name, color, or symbol that gives identity to the product. The trademark is public ally known to all. On the other hand as the name signifies, trade secrets are not public ally known, it is a closely guarded secret and is known only to a few officials and employees of the owner company. 

According to the law, any idea pattern or device or a formula that gives the owner a certain advantage over his other competitors is called a trade secret. This trade secret is closely guarded by the owner companies this gives the owners an edge over his other competitors. There is no way either the public or the competitors can find out about the trade secret without stealing it, which obviously is illegal. 

There are many examples of trade secrets. The way ingredients are combined to make the product is a closely guarded trade secret. This is very much in practice in commercial restaurants. The recipe of the dishes prepared at the restaurants is a closely guarded secret. One such example is the Kentucky fried chicken’s recipe by Col. Sanders.  

Trade secrets are just the reverse of patents and trademarks. Patents and trademarks are ways of protecting intellectual property. But in this case the public has knowledge of what is being protected. But in whole idea of a trade secret is to keep it away from the public knowledge. Until the company makes the trade secret public, it gets protection under the law. 

There is no certain guideline as to what can be regarded as a trade secret. Anything that you think worthy of being a trade secret can be named one. It can be an idea that can help you to reduce your cost substantially and as a result give you an edge over other companies. It may be the marketing strategies and other internal company’s plans that are known only to the employees.

According to the law, any person who gets hold of the trade secret by means of theft is guilty and is liable to be tried for offence under the court of law. The same procedure is applicable to the person who takes the information despite knowing that it is a closely guarded trade secret. According to the law, the company can prevent the disclosure of trade secret by binding its employees under the binding contract or a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). For further safety, the NDA or a non-disclosure agreement should also be got signed by all the people with whom you do business. An intellectual property attorney will be the right person to guide you and draft this important document to safe guard your trade secret. 

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