In terms of copyright laws, trade secrets are probably the most nebulous group in which they are applied. There is a broad range of trade secret categories that this pertains to, from cosmetic ingredients to project designs. With this in mind, there is an even more confusing understanding as to how they are protected from theft and infringement. There are a few things that have to be considered in the protection of trade secrets. One of the major ways that they are protected are contractual non-compete clauses of employees and company entities that are established. Though for the most part these have been successful, they have not wholly protected trade secrets from infringement.
The viability of a trade secret is categorized in how it creates an advantage, or an “unfair edge” over the rights of a competitor. The competitor may not have the right to the trade secret itself, but can contest the ethical reason over a trade secret if it causes the competitor to not have the right to sell products or services, or unfairly categorizes the competitor in an unfair light. It can also be contested legally if the trade secret denies a competitive entity the right to create a comparable standard for use of a similar product or service.