Connecticut Trade Secrets

November 3, 2009

By: Regina von Gootkin

Valuable Business Information You Don't Know You Have

Most business owners do not think that they have anything that can be considered a "trade secrets," but often times, businesses have valuable information that should and can be protected. If done right, the proprietary information can even be used to generate revenue.

What is a Trade Secret?

According to Connecticut General Statute §35-51, a "trade secret" is "information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, process, drawing, cost data or customer list that: (1) Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and (2) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy."

What Trade Secrets Do You Have?

How do you do business? Is your method more efficient than your competitors? Would your method benefit your competitors? If yes, then your business method may qualify as a trade secret.

Have you developed an idea that makes you money? Would that idea make other people money? If yes, then you may have an idea that qualifies as a trade secret.

Do you have a formula or recipe that your business uses to create and sell unique products? Are you the only one with the formula or recipe? If yes, then you may have a trade secret.

Is your customer list extensive? Would you or your business be damaged if it fell into a competitor's hands? If yes, then you may have a valuable and important trade secret that needs to be protected.

What Should You Do With Your Trade Secret?

The Connecticut business attorneys at Brown Paindiris & Scott can help you determine what trade secrets you have and can recommend ways to keep them safe. Limiting access to the information is a good place to start, but there are many more steps that can be taken. Connecticut Trade Secret Law (the Connecticut Uniform Trade Secrets Act) helps protect trade secrets in the event a secret is stolen or misappropriated, but only if the owner of that trade secret has previously taken steps to keep the information confidential and safe.

Depending on the nature of the trade secret, business owners may be able to license those trade secrets and create additional revenue streams for their business. All business owners can benefit from a review of their proprietary information to determine how much of their proprietary information should be protected, and whether licensing that information would be beneficial. Call the skilled and experienced commercial attorneys at Brown Paindiris & Scott today to make sure your business is adequately protected.

Brown Paindiris & Scott maintains law offices in Hartford, Glastonbury, East Hampton, and Bristol, and our attorneys would be happy to meet with you at any of these convenient locations.