Business Formation Attorney

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Most companies who are seeking to develop a business relationship with state or local government are unaware of a formal process which requires a substantial degree of transparency. A state must maintain comprehensive public records and abide by open meeting laws. Meanwhile, a company that is looking forward to submitting a proposal must have a right to keep their trade secrets safe in order to maintain market competitiveness.

In pursuit of balancing business interests and public’s rights to fairly access public records, the Ohio legislature has adopted a version of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. This legislation allows trade secret information held by a public entity to remain confidential and exempt from the public records law.

What is a trade secret?

A trade secret can be any piece of information (such as pattern, formula, quotation, etc.), which is used by a business and provides them a competitive advantage over those who do not possess such information. This information may include technical, scientific, or commercial information, among a comprehensive list of terms which may qualify as a trade secret. To put it simply, information must be secret, of value, used in or by business, and provides an advantage or opportunity to gain an advantage in order to qualify as a trade secret.

What constitutes a trade secret?

In order to prevent trade secrets to be disclosed under public records legislation, an entity submitting a proposal or bidding for a project must specifically declare which information they provided should be considered as a trade secret. However, in case a court demands public records, a company and government must have to disclose the information irrespective of the fact whether it comes under the umbrella of trade secret or not.

Therefore, a company must be ready to share their “trade secret” in case it is required by a court. Articulating the elements of the trade at an early stage of the business can help them to better shield their information from a potential request from a court for public records. Therefore, obtaining a help of a professional business formation lawyer can increase probability of your confidential information to remain private. A skillful attorney will ensure all legal technicalities are properly addressed so your business remains competitive.

If you want to obtain further information regarding the confidentiality of trade secret, contact the offices of John Grundy at 330-637-9030 to schedule a free consultation session.