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Trade Secrets

It is sometimes desirable or necessary to protect a process or formula by way of trade secret rather than by way of patent or copyright. The formula for Coca Cola is a good example. A trade secret is as the name suggests simply something that is kept secret. The owner takes precautions to ensure the information is not disclosed and the information must be something that can not be reverse engineered (i.e. determined by analyzing the final product which is sold). The owner typically restricts the information to those employees and third parties who have a need to know it and binds those employees or thirds parties by a contractual obligation not to disclose the information. If they do disclose the information the owners remedy is to sue for breach of contract.

Actions for infringement of trade secret rights are usually brought in the provincial courts.

James Nenniger is a founding partner of the firm of Piasetzki Nenniger Kvas LLP, Barristers & Solicitors, Patent and Trademark Agents, a firm that restricts its practice to patents, copyrights, trademarks, industrial designs and related causes. Piasetzki Nenniger Kvas LLP is located in Toronto, Canada.