Trade secrets are an important component of the intellectual property (IP) system. In addition to their important role protecting business’ confidential information, they are an effective complement to patent protection. They can be used in areas where patents are not appropriate tools for protecting knowledge. Depending on the context, they can also be more cost-effective and practical to use than registered IP rights, especially patents. As such, trade secrets are a particularly useful tool for businesses with limited resources, such as small companies and firms in developing countries. In its latest paper, the Innovation Council answers the most important questions about trade secrets in a nutshell.