Imagine that you have developed a unique formula for a soft drink that, upon entering a
person’s mouth, analyzes the drinker’s DNA to determine his/her favorite flavor, and then
the drink instantly realigns its chemical composition become that flavor. Describe as how
you can best protect this trade secret? Will you patent it? Why or why not?
The market of the entire world is very competitive in nature at present. The entities were competing with each other for producing and selling homogeneous and unique products in order to catch the market. Everyone has their own trade secrets. It should not be disclosed to the general public because the trade secret will remain essential behind the success of every entity in the marketplace.
In our case, we also have a trade secret. That is our unique formula for soft drinks. It is sure that by this unique formula we will get a competitive advantage in the market. So, it is significant for us to protect this trade secret, which is our unique formula. We can protect our trade secret in the following ways:
1. Trade secret policy in writing: It is better to keep our trade secret policy in writing. Convert it into a documented format. It is beneficial for us because the chance of the disclosure of our unique formula to others will be very low. Keep these documents in a secured place too.
2. Limit the number of disclosing personals: Try to limit the number of individuals who know about our unique soft drink formula to a few. If the number of individuals who know about the formula increases, then our risk to protect these formulas will also be very high. It is better to make an agreement with the employees and third parties who know about this unique soft drink formula.
3. Make proper education: It is not easy to protect the trade secret alone. Educate the workforce about the importance of the trade secret and how it should be beneficial to them individually and company too. Make them aware of the trade secret law and notify them about the consequences of breaking that law.
4. Periodical review and monitoring: A period review and monitoring should be conducted to make sure that whether the trade secret protection program will be current and if there is any further updating required strengthening the protection.
Other than this, those production staffs of our soft drinks will have to follow the below aspects strictly Periodic training to notify them about the importance of the protection of trade secrets, Conduct exit interviews on retirement and resignation of employees, and Manual describes the necessity of trade secret protection.
We will not patent it. Because of the following reasons: firstly, the entire information of the patent application becomes disclosed for the knowledge of the public once the application of the patent is published. So if we go for a patent, our unique formula of soft drink will be disclosed. Secondly, the protection for our invention through the patent is only for a limited period, which is 14-20 years. But trade secrets will protect our invention forever without disclosing. Lastly, trade secrets and patents couldn't be used simultaneously as trade secret didn't disclose our invention, but the patent will do so.