Share this Page URL

What Assets can a Trade Secret Protect? > Basic Principles of Keeping Trade Sec... - Pg. 139

A Primer on Intellectual Property · Shredding discarded confidential documents · Reviewing the file logs for abnormal activity Enforcing Trade Secret Rights 139 Violation of trade secrets is punishable by injunctions (preventing a party from doing or not doing something) and money damages. The amount of money damages is based on either the infringer's profits or the infringed party's losses. In really ugly cases, punitive damages (extra fines for behaving badly) may be awarded. Strengths and Weaknesses of Trade Secrets Strengths of trade secrets are · Trade secret material can be made public in other forms and maintain its trade secret status. Example: even if a game's object code were somehow publicly released (and not simply dis- tributed in a protected format), the source code would still be entitled to trade secret protection as long as it is not disclosed. · Unlike copyrights, they can protect ideas, concepts, and methods, not just a particular expres- sion of those ideas, concepts, and methods. Example: A copyright can only protect the literal source code of a program; a trade secret can protect the ideas and methods underlying the program. · Unlike copyrights, trade secrets can also protect special features or components of released software (remember that trade secrets only offer protection for information kept secret and not publicly available), as long as the features are not readily reverse-engineerable. · Unlike copyrights and patents, trade secrets have no expiration date. As long as the information