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A trade secret is defined as information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that: derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use; and is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain secrecy.


A trade secret may be lost and/or a confidential disclosure opened to non-actionable publication by the disclosee by the failure to mark written confidential disclosures as "Confidential" or follow-up oral confidential disclosures with a written communication marked "Confidential". 


Trade secrets are beneficial to the owner in that they can remain protected so long as they are kept confidential because there is no statutory or legal time limit with respect to protection of a trade secret. 

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