What is a Trade Secret?
A Trade Secret is any information which:
- Has been kept secret;
- Has commercial value; and
- Retains its commercial value as a result of the efforts to keep the information secret.
The subject matter of trade secrets is usually defined in broad terms and includes sales methods, distribution methods, consumer profiles, advertising strategies, lists of suppliers and clients, and manufacturing processes (World Intellectual Property Organization).
Excerpt taken from The Creative Caribbean video produced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) 2006.
How are Trade Secrets protected?
Contrary to patents, trade secrets are protected without registration, that is, trade secrets are protected without any procedural formalities. Consequently, a trade secret can be protected for an unlimited period of time (World Intellectual Property Organization).
The unauthorized disclosure of a Trade Secret constitutes an act of unfair competition under the Protection Against Unfair Competition Act, 1996.