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New products, inventions and business methods are not the only kinds of materials that a company needs to protect. Marketing plans, customer lists, and pricing procedures are types of information that, while not patented, can be considered trade secrets.
The best way to protect trade secrets is through your human resources department. If you have valuable information to protect, non-disclosure and non-competition agreements should be made a condition of employment. Only when you disclose what you consider confidential information to your employees can you expect non-disclosure in return.