The world of intellectual property and protection of rights often requires complex filings with governmental offices and high costs are to be attached with the process. The world of the internet has meant that a product launched, quickly catches on and can be easily copied and done at a fast rate. Trade Secrets are offered great protection and do not have an expiration date. Trade secrets depend on whether reasonable measures have been made to keep the information a secret and if economic value is able to be derived. It extends to include financial, business, scientific, technical, economic, or engineering information. This can consist of patterns, plans, compilations, program devices, formulas, designs, prototypes, methods, techniques, processes, procedures, programs, or codes, whether tangible or intangible.
Normally you can look up a good recipe or ask a friend for some cooking tips. However, not all recipes can be so easily shared. Recipes used for cooking purposes can also be confidential information, in terms of a secret formula for people when it becomes a form of profit! A recent case involved the production of jam and a recipe violation which came at a high price. The case involved two different fig spreads where one company, Dalmatia, had a recipe protected by trade secrets. It utilized another company, Foodmatch, for its distribution and manufacturing. Unhappy with the quality of product that was being produced, they decided to engage in the services of someone else. Shortly thereafter, Foodmatch came out with a fig spread of its own by the name of Divinia. Of course, a court battle had to ensue. The facts of the case highlight the issues involved with disclosing trade secrets to vendors or distributors. Dalmatia argued that these actions were in violation of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. It was the seller of the leading fig jam in the USA, it had every desire to want to fight for their rights. In the first of its kind, and under the new law and before a jury, this case was going to test waters. Continue reading