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Intellectual Property: Trade Secrets


A trade secret is a piece of information that if revealed to competitors, would damage their position in the marketplace.  A trade secret can be a formula, client list, marketing plans, or financial forecasts.

Trade secrets do not need to be registered.  However there is an expectation that significant measures are in place to keep the information secret. 

Trade secrets are typically protected by state law. The Uniform Trade Secret Act is a uniform law adopted by most states.  However, many states have made amendments to the uniform law so the laws are not necessarily consistent across the the country.

A federal law also exists relating to trade secrets.

Closely Guarded Trade Secrets

Many trade secrets are closely guarded.  Below are some of the most protected.

Subject Guide

Kris Johnson's picture
Kris Johnson
MSU Library, Room 139