Trade secrets are sometimes called undisclosed information as TRIPS calls them then they can also be called confidential information, know how. Trade secrets have 3 major characteristics
1. Information must be secret or confidential – not disclosed to other people;
2. Information must have commercial value – commercial value by reason of its confidentiality;
3. There must be an obligation to keep that information secret – confidential obligation. This is done through non-disclosure agreements NDA or the confidentiality clause in the contract of employment. Coca cola is a good example in discussing trade secrets law, the black syrup base of Coca cola is not patented but protected by Trade Secret Law. If it was protected by trademark, it would have expired by now.
Diana Princess of Wales as a Trade Secret – character merchandising, Diana dolls, Diana’s portrait on plates etc. Diana’s letters to Major James Hewitt were a trade secret.
David Beckham – David Beckham merchandise -
TRADE SECRETS: protect your trade secrets through patents other than trade secrets. Trade secrets are not sustainable if leaked or if the owner of a trade secret dies, they die with it, this is the problem with traditional knowledge. Traditional Medicinal Knowledge. Whenever an elder dies in a village a section of the African Library is burnt because most of the information is committed in memory and rarely disclosed.