#Trade Secrets

How To Protect Your Trade Secrets In A Hybrid Work Environment

As employees have access to more information electronically, the risk of theft rises dramatically. Here are steps to safeguard your IP. One of the lasting legacies of the Covid-19 pandemic is an increase in the number of employees working remotely, whether fully or in hybrid roles. This new way of working necessarily requires employees to be able to access information away from the office, increasing the risks that employers’ most valuable information could be stolen.
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United States: US President signs bill targeting theft of US trade secrets into law

On January 5, 2023, President Biden signed the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act into law. This law seeks to deter the theft of US intellectual property by non-US actors by threatening to impose economic sanctions on those engaged in trade secrets theft. This law adds to existing measures available under US law, such as criminal prosecution, civil lawsuits, and/or designation to a US restricted parties list such as the Entity List (maintained by the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security). (See our prior Video Chat here regarding Entity List designations related to trade secret theft.)
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Patents set to lose out as trade secrets take centre stage

Emerging technologies and changing business priorities, alongside more legal certainty and new management tools, are leading many to rethink their IP strategies. Register to receive our newsletter and gain limited access to subscriber content. Subscribe to unlock unlimited access. Get news, unique commentary, expert analysis and essential resources from the...

Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A Roadmap to Trade Secret Protection

Trade secrets are often referred to in conjunction with other intellectual property such as patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Like other types of intellectual property, trade secrets are a valuable and intangible property right. Whereas patent, copyright, and trademark protections are based often on disclosure and registration, trade secrets derive their protection from the fact that they are secrets. Further, trade secrets encompass a diverse range of information and are an essential asset to many businesses. These assets may also be critical to the value of the business especially for someone seeking to sell to a third party. However, many businesses often undervalue the time and effort involved in developing trade secrets and fail to safeguard this asset appropriately. While Stevie Wonder was not talking about trade secrets in his 1970’s single, “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” he could have been.

New Federal Law and FTC Rule Will Imperil Trade Secret Protection

“He is led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention.”. When Adam Smith spoke about an “invisible hand,” he was talking about a good thing – the way that free markets harness the laws of competition, supply and demand and self-interest to improve the economy. But he also could have been thinking of another law. The law of unintended consequences: that actions of people, and especially of governments, always have unanticipated effects. Sometimes these effects can be perverse, reflecting a profound failure of “second-order thinking” (in other words, thinking ahead about “how could this possibly go wrong?”).

Deep tech fundraising, negative trade secrets, 3

In this environment, founders who try to “bright side” their numbers into a positive narrative will lose credibility. It’s nice to think so, but you can’t present a detailed plan that will save the day — there are simply too many factors outside of your control.

Engine Designs and Reserve Driver Roles: Protecting Trade Secrets

For a majority of the 2022 season, IndyCar drive Alex Palou was involved in a contract dispute. Chip Ganassi Racing (CGR), the team Palou was driving for in 2022, claimed that Palou was under contract to drive for them for the 2023 IndyCar season. Palou and Arrow McLaren SP (ASMP) claimed he had signed a contract with AMSP for the 2023 season and beyond. AMSP is a sister team to McLaren, the Formula One team. The dispute was eventually settled with Palou agreeing to drive for CGR for the 2023 IndyCar season and CGR would allow him to test McLaren’s Formula One car (Cleeran, 2022).

Circuit Court Strikes Down Liquidated-Damages Agreement in Trade Secret Case

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently made two rulings that may impact companies using liquidated-damages clauses in their confidentiality agreements to protect their trade secrets. First, a liquidated-damages provision “based entirely on the breaching party’s profits, and not on the injury suffered by the non-breaching party,” was unenforceable...

FTC’s Noncompete Ban Leaves Room to Prevent Trade Secret Theft

Since the Federal Trade Commission recently announced a proposal to ban all noncompete agreements, clients have been asking, “What about our trade secrets?”. It’s a logical question, considering that noncompetes are one of the primary ways businesses protect these secrets. Employers don’t want their valuable information walking out...

Failures are valuable IP: Protect your startup’s negative trade secrets

But they may not be aware of another powerful form of IP protection in California: “Negative trade secrets” are intended to protect a company’s secret know-how gained from extensive research investment about what does not work. Consider Thomas Edison’s quote about his lightbulb experiments: “I haven’t failed,...

Employment — Trade secrets — Specificity

Where a plaintiff has brought suit alleging that the defendant, a former employee, stole trade secrets, a claim of breach of fiduciary duty must be dismissed because the evidence does not show that the defendant had a fiduciary relationship with his employer, but the defendant is not otherwise entitled to summary judgment despite his argument that the plaintiff has not identified its trade secrets with sufficient particularity to move forward on its claims.