Saturday, February 11, 2017
Trade Secret Misappropriation Rights: Defend Trade Secrets Act; National Law Review, 2/9/17
Craig S. Hilliard, National Law Review;
"In the recent past, a company would weigh the benefit of 1) filing a public patent with 20 year exclusivity and strong infringement remedies; or 2) choosing to keep the IP “secret” despite limitations on court actions and remedies. A balancing advantage for “trade secret” over patent is the indefinite period of protection. If the business keeps it well-hidden, it has a sort of quasi-monopoly over the “product.”
Unlike with patents, however, trade secret misappropriation rights have historically been limited. For example, if a suspected bad actor reverse-engineered a product protected by patent, it would be ruled an infringement with harsh penalties. For a trade secret however, accidental discovery or reverse-engineering are not protected rights. Both are valid defenses to a misappropriation claim...
Dealing with issues involving patents or trade secrets can be very complex. It is suggested that you consult with experienced legal council to assist with the process."