Getting Down with Intellectual Property (IP) Protection –  Part 2: Trade Secrets

Author: Lisa Douglas-Paul 

Intellectual Property

Alright, folks, so, in our last article on the subject, we looked at how Geographical Indicators (GIs) have been used by larger companies to power their global business strategies. Now, we keep up de pace as we continue to look at how companies are able to level up with the power of Intellectual Property or IP to protect their most defining and most valuable elements.

In some cases, when there is something so unique and commercially valuable about your company’s manufacturing processes, sales or distribution methods or even advertising strategies, you should consider protecting it ASAP as a Trade Secret. 🤫

A Trade Secret has to satisfy three specific requirements: firstly, it has to be commercially valuable, secondly, it must be known only to a limited group of persons, and lastly, it has to be subject to reasonable steps, such as confidentiality agreements, to maintain its secrecy. For an example of an excellent use of Trade Secrets in the Caribbean region, look no further than the folks at Angostura. The recipe for the world-renowned Angostura Bitters has been Trinidad and Tobago’s best-kept secret since 1824. What is no secret, though, is the explosive success of this product which has gone on to win over 60 awards worldwide while generating millions of dollars in export sales.

One of the coolest things about this particular IP tool is that once it is locked in, your Trade Secret can be sold or licensed.  Essentially, this easily opens the way to several options for revenue-generating activity for your small business without you having to break the door down.

Trade Secrets also differ from other IP tools because they cannot be registered and these rights never expire. It’s all yours till the end of time, padna.

At the end of the day, we give nuff respect to any business, person, cat or dog who can keep a secret in the Caribbean (where Tantee and dem all up in yuh business). 👵👨‍🎤👂🏼😂

Next in the series, we’ll look at simple IP tools like Copyright and Trademarks that businesses should definitely lockdown from the jump so they can protect their enterprises. 

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