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9 trademarks, or "SM" for unregistered service marks (i.e., Board site: Those downloading practices from the TRB Web unregistered trademarks for services). Board do so with the understanding that: The information contained in the published content is pro- vided as a service to the bus transit community, and does not Trade Secrets constitute advice. Every attempt was made to provide qual- ity information for the purposes outlined for this project, but A trade secret is defined as a piece of information or a we make no claims, promises, or guarantees about the process that derives economic value from not being gener- accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the content. Mainte- ally known and from not being readily ascertainable. In nance advice must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each agency. Because bus maintenance practices can other words, a trade secret protects valuable, nonpublic change without notice, nothing provided herein should be information from being disclosed. There is no particular used as a substitute for the advice of competent mechanics way to notify the public whether a trade secret exists. and/or maintenance crews. Therefore, you are not liable if you independently discover or even knowingly "reverse engineer" a trade secret of If agencies desire, they can add this or another disclaimer another. The moment a trade secret is disclosed by some- to any practice posted on the Web Board. The practice for- one, trade secret rights are lost. To be held liable for a trade mat presented in Chapter 4 has a section for including any secret infringement, you must violate a confidentiality disclaimer that your agency deems appropriate. agreement or steal the secret. If you or your agency has developed information that you believe should be protected PART 2: REFERENCE MATERIAL by trade secret laws, you need to work closely with an attor- ney to maintain the level of secrecy necessary. Remember, Overview once information is published (i.e., in a practice), it is no longer a trade secret. In addition to your agency's collective knowledge and experiences, you will need to consider reference material from outside sources. Otherwise, you may be perpetuating Consequences of Not Protecting poor and inefficient practices as a tradition. The "we've been Intellectual Property doing it that way for years" method may not be the best and When using reference material to develop practices, you in fact may be incorrect or in direct violation of a regulation! are responsible for maintaining the integrity of the intellec- Manufacturers' manuals serve as the primary reference tual property of another. Simply put, it is unlawful to present source because of the inherent understanding OEMs have of a creative endeavor (i.e., patent, trademark, or copyright) of their own products. Other essential reference materials another as your own. include practices developed by other agencies; standards and RPs developed by APTA, the trucking industry, and other professional organizations; and federal and local regulatory Examples and Clauses compliance material. This section describes how essential reference material Appendix A includes a variety of examples and clauses can be located using the TRB Web Board or more traditional that you may use (permission to use is granted) or modify as means (e.g., phone or mail). Because the Web Board can be needed when developing and sharing maintenance practices. used to locate reference material, including practices devel- Included are: oped by other agencies, instructions for using the Web Board are provided below. An example of a letter to request permission to use resources, Disclaimers to use when sharing practices with others to Using the Web Board forewarn them that the agency providing the information is not liable for the information or any consequences that Background may follow from the use of the information, and TRB sponsors several Web Boards for sharing informa- An indemnity example to hold your agency harmless tion. Of particular interest to maintenance personnel is the from any claim made by any third party due to or arising Transit Fleet Maintenance Committee's Web Board located out of using your practice. at It contains several bus maintenancerelated categories (called "conferences") Web Board Disclaimer to help agencies exchange information on several subjects. It also includes a direct link to the Maintenance Practices Web Any practice posted on the TRB Web Board is subject to Board established as part of this project to develop and share the following disclaimer, which is included on the Web bus maintenance practices. Other conferences are dedicated