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Non-Compete and Trade Secrets Blog

Famous Examples of Trade Secrets

Trade secret practitioners often find ourselves having to explain what a trade secret is. The most common example (and one which I frequently use) is the Coca-Cola formula, as it can be easily used to illustrate each of the prongs of the trade secret test. That example can then dovetail into a description of the Joya Williams case from a decade ago, which is a good example of an effective internal investigation on the part of an employer protecting its trade secrets.

Anyway, this article from Director Magazine in the UK compiles six of the most famous trade secrets: the Coke formula, Google's search algorithm, Irn-Bru's formula, the criteria for the New York Times Bestseller List, the formula for WD-40, and the Sharrow Bay Hotel's recipe for sticky toffee pudding. So for those of us who do frequent presentations and find ourselves repeating the same stories to illustrate the elements of a trade secret, the article provides some useful fodder, especially for those of us Americans who have never had Irn-Bru or sticky toffee pudding.

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