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Trade Secret / Proprietary Information


Any valuable commercial information that provides a business with an advantage over competitors who don't have that information. In general terms trade secrets include inventions, ideas, or compilations of data that are used by a business to make itself more successful. Specifically, trade secrets include any useful formula, plan, pattern, process, program, tool, technique, mechanism, compound, or device that is not generally known or readily ascertainable by the public. Whatever type of information is represented by a trade secret, a business must take reasonable steps to safeguard it from disclosure.


As you read this ​page ​consider for a moment that it's not entirely coming from a place of ​acrimony. This is something that I've been wanting to address for years. I've put off writing this for a long time because it's an uncomfortable subject that disheartens everytime it rears its head.

East Coast Ranchu is a registered company on its 6th year. It's been that long and now (2018) I'm going to say something about copycats. Time and again I've ​witnessed ​stores and individuals clone, mimic, and rip off near identical or derivative versions of ideas/methodologies and concepts that I’ve spent A LONG TIME developing:

  • ​Sellers infringing on proprietary ECR guidelines, detailed protocols, selling & distribution techniques; ​

  • Buyers masquerading as friends but once they're given access to the Member Portal they covertly exploit and plagiarize intellectual property/compilation of data and replicate the entire step-by-step logistics I use in order to jumpstart their own store;

  • people using ECR photos and videos to sell their goldfish or get traffic to their Social Media accounts and websites; ​

  • Vendors deliberately engaging in trademark infringement​ i.e; using a near similar company identity likely to cause confusion among customers and profit on ECR's brand recognition. Even going so low as to knock off Instagram posts.

  • one breeder/seller copied the Ranchu Baby Starter Kit promo, the medication store list, the ECR breather bag packaging technique and Packaging information, and pretty much used ECR documentation (guidelines, policies) as source material for her website and sales. You basically used my store as a blueprint and copied everything verbatim. Are you really that braindead you have to knockoff ECR and make it sound like you came up with it? No amount of derivative phrasing can disguise the obvious duplication of my words. PS: It's too late when you delete or hide pages - I've already taken screenshots. And if anyone asks me who I'm referring to I WILL NAME YOU.

  • In several instances I've been contacted directly by copycat sellers (too lazy to look things up themselves) requesting for full insider info on core operations & automation systems related to commercial breeding and live animal shipping. Like it's a free giveaway.


I can understand. When you can't innovate, when you can't come up with your own ideas you just copy and steal. And nothing breeds copycats like a successful business venture. Anytime a new idea is hatched and executed successfully, cloners emerge and imitate. From an investing point of view - the most innovative companies are potentially the ones that perform and yield better results.


For copycats it's the only viable avenue you've considered. This is the Business Ethics that you follow. You didn't roll up your sleeves and learned things the hard way. You didn't visit multiple commercial farms to understand the trade and the science. You didn't coordinate with laboratories to do clinical tests after thousands of $ in losses when the company was just starting out. You didn't do trial shipments and sacrificed a lot of fish to get it right. You have no strategic foresight. You only want the benefits without exerting any effort. 


​ECR didn't just happen overnight. It took time to cultivate customer recognition and acceptance. Behind the scenes every mistake, every obstacle got in the way before I could confidently make a step forward and see progress. I wanted to be thorough. Where I come from, there's no substitute for hard work, for putting in the time, imagination and creativity to make things happen. But it's more than just that.

There’s also a moral component: Ultimately, the difference between inspiration and imitation is intent. One can choose to be conscious of what's right and what's wrong. What does it take to honor the work of people that inspire you by treating it with the respect it deserves? 

Social Credibility shouldn't be artificially supplemented with plagiarism, imitation, freebooting, or stealing another seller's NAME, IDEA, or BODY of WORK just to further yourself.


Blaze your own path. It's called ORIGINALITY. 

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