Trade Secrets Part 3: Is Unused Business Information Protectable as a Trade Secret?

Apr 05, 2014

By Reed Morris

An important element in the statutory definition of trade secrets in Colorado is that the trade secret must be something "relating to any business or profession which is secret and of value."  

An argument can be made that if the information is not currently being used or has not ever been used, then it is not protectable as a trade secret.  However, the definition of trade secrets under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in Colorado suggests that information need only be "of value" (not necessarily used). While there is no statutory requirement that trade secret information be used in order to find protection under the law, such requirement might be required by a court considering the facts of your particular case. 

In advising businesses in this area, Mallon & Lonnquist recommends at least nominal recognition that the information "relates to" and is of "use" and "value" to the business within any confidentiality and non-compete agreement itself.  We also believe that the “value” of the information be recognized internally by the company and company policies be established to protect that value.   These are some of the core elements in creating and maintaining a comprehensive trade secret plan. 

The next topic in this series-- “Who Can Claim Trade Secret Protections in Colorado?” --will explore the statutory requirement that the trade secret must be something “relating to any business or profession…”

A previous post-- “What is a Trade Secrete under Colorado Law?” --provides the general and full statutory definition of trade secrets in Colorado and “A Colorado Trade Secret Owner’s Bill of Rights” describes the two fundamental rights of trade secret owners.    

Mallon & Lonnquist, LLC, is a business and real estate law firm. Reed F. Morris is a Colorado a litigation attorney with Mallon & Lonnquist, based in Denver, Colorado. Reed regularly represents businesses and individuals in transactions in and commercial disputes and can be reached at

Category: M&L Legal Posts

Category List

Tag List

Litigation (15)
Colorado Courts (1)
Property Surveys (1)
Real Estate (4)
Colorado LLC (1)
Lease Negotiations (1)
cause for termination (1)
Overtime Wages (2)
Skiing Gear (1)
CO Ski and Snowboard Gear Recall (1)
Community (29)
Helmet Recall (1)
Denver arbitration (1)
Denver Business Law (1)
Non-Solicitiation (1)
Ethics (1)
Data Breach (2)
Construction (6)
Alternative Dispute Resolution (5)
Denver Broncos (1)
Credit Card Data (1)
Colorado Real Estate (11)
cyber security (3)
Non-Disclosure (1)
Employment (3)
Resolving Business Disputes (1)
St. Anthony, Minnesota (1)
Construction Contracts (5)
Colorado Enforcement of Non-Compete (2)
Trade Secrets (6)
ABA Article (1)
Non-Solicitation (1)
Colorado Hispanic Bar Association (1)
American Bar Association (2)
Co-Ownership Agreement (1)
Our Courts Colorado (1)
Snowboard Gear (1)
Colorado business disputes (1)
subcontractor negotiations (2)
Colorado Wrongful Death (1)
Denver Real Estate (1)
Colorado Retail Leasing (1)
Employment Law (1)
Spanish Business Law (9)
Cherry Creek Chamber of Commerce (1)
Colorado Employment (20)
CO Business Non-Solicitation Restrictions (1)
Colorado Business (56)
Wrongful Death Settlement (1)
Commercial Real Estate (2)
Corporate Law (8)
attorney-client privilege (2)
indemnifications (2)
ABA (1)
Enforcing Non-Solicitation Agreement (1)
Colorado Construction (1)
Master Services Agreement (2)
Colorado Judicial Institute (1)
Colorado Spanish Legal Services (1)
Certifiably Green Denver (1)
Colorado Lis Pendens (1)
Labor (3)
CO Attorney Mentoring Program (1)
courts (1)
Non-Compete (2)
Spanish Legal Services (7)
Business Contracts (1)
Leases (4)
Real Estate Law Firm (3)
Non-Competition Agreements (12)
Arbitration (2)
Colorado at-will employment (1)
Mergers & Acquisitions (5)
Data Breach Settlement (1)
Non-Compete, Colorado non-compete restrictions, enforcing non-compete, protecting Colorado business (1)
Finance Law (2)
Colorado Foundation for Water Education (1)
Commercial Property (1)
Colorado attorney mentor (1)
Mechanic's Liens (1)
Spanish Speaking Lawyers Committee (1)
Construction Bond Claims (2)
Denver Colorado Business Attorney (9)
Denver Business Journal (2)
LLC Law (2)
Denver Sustainable Law Firm (1)