Do you know what’s in your favorite chain restaurant’s “secret sauce”? Nope.
How about the formula to everyone’s favorite cola beverage? Not even a hint.
There are situations when businesses do not want to share certain proprietary information with the world. For example, a company might decide to forgo pursuing patent protection and try to keep a technology or formula as a trade secret for as long as possible, as patents get published in order to disclose their "secret sauce" to the public at large in exchange for a limited-term monopoly. A well-known example of this is the formula for Coca-Cola®, which has been successfully maintained as a trade secret for over a century by elaborate means and procedures. The patent laws in the U.S. effectively prevent someone from treating an invention as a trade secret while commercially exploiting said invention for more than a year, so if a party attempts to keep an invention as a trade secret for more than a year, then suddenly tries to seek patent protection if the trade secret gets out, that is not legal, as allowing someone to do such a thing would in essence give the party an extended term of exclusive patent rights beyond what Congress intended.
If your business is dealing with any sort of legal issues involving trade secrets/proprietary information, please get in touch with Startup IP Law, LLC today.