trade secrets Pieces of confidential information given in circumstances of confidence that enable the recipient to short-circuit an otherwise necessary course of development. Thus a source listing containing debugged code for one or more algorithms, if given in circumstances of confidence, may be protected by the law as a trade secret and the recipient (and any person who knowingly received the information) barred from using the algorithms in programs of his own. Like privacy, the law on trade secrets is not at all clear. See also copyright, patent.
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