a trade secret

trade secret

1. Literally, a particular way of making something that a company keeps secret from competitors. The recipe for our famous rib sauce has been a trade secret for decades.
2. By extension, any secret one keeps about the way one makes or does something. A: "How do you get the colors in your pictures to turn out so brilliantly?" B: "Sorry, trade secret."
See also: secret, trade

a ˌtrade ˈsecret

1 a secret about a particular company’s method of production: The ingredients of Coca-Cola are a trade secret.
2 (humorous) a secret about how you make or do something: ‘Can I have a recipe for this cake?’ ‘No, you can’t. It’s a trade secret.’
See also: secret, trade
References in periodicals archive ?
Since trade secrets are typically a matter of state law, the definition of a trade secret and the protections afforded trade secrets differ according to jurisdiction.
For example, in New York, a trade secret is 'any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information which is used in one's business and which gives (the owner) an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it'.
Moreover, wrongful disclosure constitutes 'disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who' improperly acquired the information or who knew that the information was obtained from a person who used 'improper means to acquire it'.