A Trade Secret can be anything that is not known outside your company, but because you know it you have an advantage over your competitors. In addition you must take reasonable efforts to conceal the information from others. While trade secrets are often associated with secret formulas and internal R&D, the truth is that things as simple as your customer and prospect lists, your financial records, your internal process for handling sales leads, and your unique means of compensating key employees are all example of trade secrets.
How it creates value:
- By focusing on creating internal processes that give you competitive advantage. Often this is in the form of improved efficiency or better quality outputs.
- By impressing employees who are privy to the trade secrets that you value this information and you will enforce your rights if they leave and try to take this property with them.
- Can be more valuable than a patent, because trade secrets can last forever as long as you maintain your efforts to conceal the information.
The Argent Place Solution:
- Identify exactly what are your internal processes and information that should be protected.
- Develop a plan to establish reasonable efforts to conceal the trade secret from others.
- Draft non-disclosure agreements and non-compete agreements.
- Create a culture of innovation that encourages your employees to innovate in their jobs in ways that give you added competitive advantages.