My colleagues Cali Roth Spota and Anthony J. Noonan recently wrote a comprehensive summary of trade secret law that you can read in the alert here. In their summary, they discuss the importance of a company safeguarding its intellectual property to maintain a competitive edge and ensure long-term success, and they suggest that trade secret law can provide significant protections to ideas and inventions for which patent protection is unavailable or undesirable.

According to their summary, essentially any idea or invention that has economic value can be protected from wrongdoers indefinitely so long as the owner of the idea or invention maintains its secrecy. In this situation, the public also never learns of the underlying details of the invention. They believe this can certainly be a more desirable option than seeking patent protection in many situations. For companies that seek to avail themselves of this option, they suggest implementing reasonable measures to prevent the information from being disseminated in ways that would negate the secrecy of the trade secret.