Rights in trade secrets are now provided under federal law, state law—by statute (e.g., Cal. Civil Code §§ 3426-3426.11; the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (“UTSA”) has been adopted or modified in some form in 48 states), or common law (e.g., legal decision; still the law in New York) No registration system for trade secrets Trade Secrets: 10 of the Most Famous Examples Trade secret, also called intellectual property or proprietary information , is the term used for any method, formula, device, process, or any information that gives the business a unique competitive advantage over its competition. Listerine is a popular example of a trade secret used in law schools. The inventor licensed the secret formula to Lambert Pharmaceuticals. Lambert (now Pfizer) made royalty payments to the inventor’s family for over 70 years, even though the formula was revealed during that time.