Competition for customers in the food and beverage industry can be fierce. Companies want to offer something that is unique to their customers in order to entice consumers to purchase from them instead of their competitors. These unique offerings need to be protected as trade secrets.
Protecting your trade secrets could be the key to success in a flooded food and beverage market in the future.
What Is a Trade Secret?
Before you can appreciate the need to protect your company's trade secrets, you need to know what a trade secret is. Trade secret laws can vary from one jurisdiction to another, but all variations of the law typically define a trade secret as information that offers economic value from being kept secret.
The economic value associated with the secret information warrants the investment of reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy.
Do You Have Trade Secrets?
Many companies that operate in the food and beverage industry use recipes and formulas that are unique to their products. It is these formulas and recipes that you will want to protect as trade secrets. You should work with a corporate law firm when attempting to identify potential trade secret information.
The formula or recipe in question cannot be easily identified by simply taking it to an independent laboratory. The proportions of each ingredient and the method by which the food or beverage item is made using the recipe must be unique to your company. Your attorney can help you determine if your formula or recipe meets the criteria of a trade secret.
How Are Trade Secrets Protected?
Once you have identified a trade secret, you must take action to protect it. You need to restrict access to trade secret information to parties who are on a "need to know" basis. Additionally, anyone who will have access to your trade secret information must be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA).
Your attorney can help you draft a legally binding NDA document that will prohibit the sharing of any information which pertains to the trade secret. The NDA will allow you to take legal action against anyone who leaks information that could hurt your company in the future.
Trade secrets can play a central role in the success of any company in the food and beverage industry. Do your part to help protect your company's trade secrets by working with an experienced corporate law attorney today.