Home Business Milica J. Čizmović Phd: Trade secret – the key to competitive advantage...

Milica J. Čizmović Phd: Trade secret – the key to competitive advantage and the necessity for business survival


Trade secrets often represent a key advantage that one company has over its competition. However, simply possessing the key to a competitive advantage is not enough to survive in the market. In order for a company to survive, it is necessary for the trade secret to remain well guarded and protected. A well-guarded trade secret allows the company to maintain its advantage over the competition and achieve higher profits.

A trade secret is information related to a company’s operations, its product, process or strategy, that is not publicly available and whose exclusivity the company wants to preserve in order to gain a competitive advantage. This information can be of a technical nature, such as secret recipes, formulas or technological processes, or of a business nature, such as marketing plans, management strategies, prices or client lists. A trade secret differs from patented technologies or protected intellectual properties because it does not have formal legal protection. Instead, companies rely on protective measures such as confidentiality agreements, secure access to information and security protocols to maintain secrecy and prevent unauthorized access to this information.

How can companies effectively protect their trade secret from unauthorized access? Why is it important to establish security measures and protocols to ensure the confidentiality of a trade secret? And how can companies maintain a balance between sharing information within the company and limiting access to external factors in order to protect the trade secret?

In a dynamic business environment, companies that have the ability to preserve and apply their business key are the ones that survive and thrive. Protecting a trade secret is not just about storing information. It requires strong security measures that ensure the secret remains within the company and is not exposed to risk. Companies can effectively protect their trade secret through a combination of security measures. This can include the use of confidentiality agreements with employees, partners and suppliers, implementing controlled access to information, ensuring physical space security, using cryptographic technologies, protecting electronic data, monitoring access and activities that may pose a risk. Access controls, physical and digital security measures, as well as employee education on the importance of preserving the trade secret, help maintain the confidentiality of information and prevent leaks. Striking a balance between sharing information within the company and restricting external access is important to protect the trade secret. Within the company, a need-based access approach can be used to ensure that only key employees have access to confidential information. In relationships with external factors, such as partners or suppliers, confidentiality agreements can be signed to ensure that information is not disclosed to third parties without the company’s consent. Regular updating and monitoring of these measures help companies maintain a balance between sharing information and protecting the business secret.

Protecting a company’s trade secret is necessary to preserve competitive advantage, foster innovation, protect valuable resources, achieve financial benefits and maintain the trust of customers and business partners. It is a crucial step towards long-term success and survival in the market. The trade secret and its protection are key elements in achieving competitive advantage and ensuring the long-term success of a company. The use and protection of trade secrets enable companies to stand out, innovate and achieve aspirations in the market, making them vital resources for their business survival and prosperity.


Milica J. Cizmovic, attorney at law/president at European Association of Experts and Professionals in IP, Data and Services (EUIPC)

The Srpska Times



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