Keeping Business Secrets in South Africa

(South Africa) – This is a preview extract of the book “Trade Secrets of Business in South Africa”, hence this article will explore diverse issues in the subject of trade secrets for business and entrepreneurship.

Before you start or grow a business in South Africa, ask yourself if your business concept is protected. Have you ever wondered how a business like KFC, based on a recipe, can become the second largest fast-food business in the world, and even though it is a recipe, and that there are billions of small cooking-based food stall businesses world over, it still thrives even in a South African economy with the “Kota” on every corner?

What causes a single company like Huawei to be the centre a trade war between China and the U.S, a war worth US$200 billion per year, is the company’s ability to create and grow secrets in technology and business models so big that they halt economies. Trade Secrets are a very important subject that business owners, small or large, must know and be able to protect their enterprise from start and growth levels as KFC, Coke and Huawei founders did.

There are a lot of misconceptions over what a trade secret is, and most importantly many businesses in South Africa and Africa, do not place much attention to the protection of their secrets, that uncommon branch of Intellectual Property. In most countries, there are four primary types of intellectual property (IP) that can be legally protected: patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets.

Trade secrets are proprietary procedures, systems, devices, formulas, strategies or other information that is confidential and exclusive to the company using them. They act as competitive advantages for the business.

According to the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation, that oversees trade via intellectual property of 19 countries in Africa, a “trade secret” means information including but not limited to a formula, pattern, compilation, program, method, technique, or process, or information contained or embodied in a product, device or mechanism which is or may be used in a trade or business, is not generally known in that trade or business, has economic value from not being generally known, and is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain its secrecy. South Africa is not part of ARIPO bust does business with all ARIPO states.

Read more in Cabanga Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *