A trade secret is information that is not known or readily available to a competitor. A trade secret can consist of any formula, pattern, device, or compilation of information that is used in one's business and provides an opportunity to obtain a business advantage. Trade secrets differ from other types of intellectual property in that a trade secret can exist indefinitely, as long as the secret information is kept in confidence. In contrast, patents, trademarks and copyrights are necessarily available for public scrutiny. Trade secret theft can result in both civil and criminal penalties.
Trade secrets are governed by both federal and state law, and trade secret law is a rapidly growing area of business concern. The attorneys at The Farrell Law Firm actively monitor the rapid evolution of this area of intellectual property law and advise clients on business strategies such as employee agreements, key personnel exit interviews, as well as non-disclosure and confidentiality agreements. In addition, The Farrell Law Firm provides litigation services for enforcement of trade secrets (see Litigation).