Intellectual Property - Trade Secrets

graphic of lock in digital realm representing trade secrets

An inventor is not required to obtain a patent. The inventor may decide that the benefits of keeping the invention secret outweigh the benefits of a patent.

According to California law, a "'trade secret' means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process, that:

  1. Derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to the public or to 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."

See the World Intellectual Property Organization’s information on trade secrets.