Monday, July 24, 2017

Prevent employees from walking off with trade secrets; Virginia Lawyers Weekly, July 24, 2017

Clyde Findley and Ryen Rasmus, Virginia Lawyers Weekly; 

Prevent employees from walking off with trade secrets

"Intellectual property law is com­plicated. It protects legal rights associated with intangible and never-before-seen items. The IP field is full of jargon and contradic­tions, has few bright-line rules, and is studded with “I-know-it-when- I-see-it” tests and standards. It is little wonder, therefore, that many general practitioners throw up their hands when it comes to their clients’ IP issues, and either ig­nore these issues outright or refer the clients out to high-cost specialists. However, a generalist can take many precautions to nurture and protect her client’s IP hold­ings, particularly its trade secrets.

Although all forms of intellectual proper­ty can lose value when they are not properly looked after, no category of IP can lose its value as quickly as material that—with just a bit of attention from a business lawyer— can qualify for state and federal trade secret protection. Because careless and vindictive employees are often the guilty parties in trade secret misappropriation cases, atten­tion to the agreements and policies that gov­ern employees behavior is especially useful."

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