In most states, a trade secret may consist of any formula, pattern, physical device, idea, process or compilation of information that both:
Some examples of potential trade secrets are:
Unlike other forms of intellectual property such as patents, copyrights and trademarks, trade secrecy is basically a do-it-yourself form of protection. You don't register with the government to secure your trade secret; you simply keep the information confidential. Trade secret protection lasts for as long as the secret is kept confidential. Once a trade secret is made available to the public, trade secret protection ends.