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What Qualifies as a Trade Secret?

Does your business have information, procedures, or assets unique to your company that contributes to its success? If so, you may have a trade secret. In this blog post, we take a look at what things can be considered a trade secret in Texas and what business owners can do to safeguard those things from becoming exposed to competitors.

What Is a Trade Secret?

In Texas, a trade secret can be any business asset that is unique to a business entity, known only by staff and collaborators, and has value to the company. If there has already been some kind of an effort to protect the asset from becoming public knowledge, this can also serve as evidence that the asset qualifies as a trade secret because its owners have demonstrated knowledge that the asset is sensitive and should be kept from the public.

Under Texas state law any one of the following things can be considered a trade secret:

  • Programs
  • Devices
  • Formulas
  • Patterns
  • Compilations
  • Methods and techniques
  • Records of suppliers or customers
  • Records of potential suppliers or customers
  • Financial data

Protecting a Trade Secret

The most common way to protect a trade secret is to institute nondisclosure agreements with a business staff and any industry collaborators who are familiar with the protected asset. These agreements can protect the secret while your staff works for your company and, often times, even after they have stopped working you.

If your trade secret has been exposed to your competitors, the state of Texas has robust laws in place to protect your interest in its secrecy and account for your business' resulting losses. If someone has exposed your company's trade secret, the time to speak with an attorney is now.

At Toppins Law Firm, P.C., our legal team as more than 40 years of collective experience in the business law arena. We have worked with small businesses and major corporations alike and know what it takes to navigate your trade secret issue to a favorable outcome.

Contact us today to start exploring your options.