A trade secret is confidential information that provides a business with an economic and competitive advantage and is not known to the general public. A trade secret can be anything of value to your company that is unique and not known to persons outside your company. This potentially includes inventions, processes, and formulas, but unlike patents, also includes customer and supplier lists, business methods and processes, and other business information that gives a competitive advantage.
If anyone is willing to protect a trade secret, it is crucial that it to be kept a secret. Trade secrets once lost, the secret becomes public knowledge and the protection is gone forever.