What Is A Trade Secret?

A trade secret is a process or manufacturing method that has been kept secret from the public.  The best example is the formula for Coca Cola which has been a secret for over 100 years.  The concept of a trade secret was created by the courts to protect methods used by companies and persons that are not known to others and provide an economic value to the trade secret holder.  Numerous states have adopted the Uniform Trade Secret Law, including Maryland, whose statute is found at Commercial Law Article 11-1201 et seq..  There is no federal trade secrets act.

Maryland's definition of a trade secret is found at 11-1201(e) which states that a trade secret is "information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique or process" that has actual or potential economic value, that is not readily ascertainable by other persons, and which is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.

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