Trade Secrets

A trade secret is a specific set of information (data, design, process, formula) which is not generally known and by which its owner or licensee can derive economic advantage over its competitors.

It is important to make reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy, as a trade secret derives most of its value from this.

One can easily see that this can be in conflict with the practice of dissemination via publications and other forms of disclosure of academic institutions.

Yet, while certainly not widespread at University College Dublin, in some cases, depending on the nature of the information, the source of funding of the project, the university-industry collaboration contract that may govern the management of the results, and the commercialisation strategy adopted by the team involved, trade secrets can be a valuable intellectual property protection tool to enable commercial traction.