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Category: Trade secrets


Protecting Your Nanotechnology Inventions - Part 4: Don’t Forget About Trade Secret Protection
December 31, 2018
Post by Jonathan L. Kennedy
When you have a new invention, the right question to ask at the outset is whether you want to consider patenting it. This is important because many common activities in research and commercialization can create a bar to patent protection or at least start a one-year clock by which a patent must be filed. Some of these common activities include presenting or publishing on the technology, testing the techn.......
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Protecting Your Nanotechnology Inventions - Part 2: Defining Your Invention
August 19, 2018
Post by Jonathan L. Kennedy
Have you invented materials with improved properties, such that you can seek to protect materials having those properties? Have you invented materials with a new structure such that you can seek protection of that structure beyond your specific species of materials? Have you invented a method that can be applied to items broader than your specific application? The answers to these questions can inform yo.......
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Protecting Your Nanotechnology Inventions - Part 1: Defining Your Space
June 21, 2018
Post by Jonathan L. Kennedy
In a recent post, I discussed the increasing focus on nanotechnology research including the growing number of patents issued and government funding in nanotechnology research. Obtaining the strongest and broadest protection for your nanotechnology should be a focus of any research and intellectual property (IP) strategy. There are things that can be done during research to support stronger and broade.......
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Uber Learns Trade Secret Law the Hard Way in Settlement with Waymo over Self-Driving Car Technology
February 23, 2018
Post by Patricia A. Sweeney - Of Counsel
In the middle of trial with Google’s self-driving car company, Waymo, Uber settled the trade secret litigation brought by Google. Uber will turn over 0.34% of its equity, which has been estimated at $245 million dollars in value. The dispute resulted when Uber hired a former employee of Waymo, not knowing that the engineer had downloaded 14,000 copies of company documents before leaving. Uber did not requi.......
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Space Systems Loral to Proceed with Trade Secret Theft Lawsuit Against Orbital ATK
February 11, 2018
Post by Gregory "Lars" Gunnerson
Daniel Wilson of Law360.com reports on Friday, February 2nd, U.S. District Judge Raymound A. Jackson “trimmed two claims from space technology company SSL’s suit accusing rival Orbital ATK of stealing its trade secrets through a shared NASA server, but refused to toss the suit, saying SSL had adequately pled the majority of its allegations.” SSL was able to survive getting the entire suit thrown because .......
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Trade Secrets: Lessons for Employers
September 07, 2017
Post by Patricia A. Sweeney - Of Counsel
Two court cases have provided a potent lesson in the need to interview incoming employees from competitors, and when the so-called “nuclear option” is available, when it is your trade secret that walks out the door. The “nuclear option” is a portion of the Defend Trade Secrets Act that was passed in 2016. Among the remedies for an employer is, in addition to seeking damages and injunctive relief, the abi.......
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Prepping for Protection: First Steps to Developing an IP Strategy
May 16, 2017
Post by Blog Staff
Whether you are an individual, a start-up company, or an existing business, two of the hardest (and most important) questions are: “Do I have intellectual property?” and “How do I protect it?” First, having a qualified attorney will help make answering these questions significantly easier and they can help guide you through the development of an IP strategy that not only protects your current IP, but allow.......
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When the Unthinkable Happens: IP Considerations for Bankruptcy
February 01, 2017
In the event that the unthinkable happens and bankruptcy becomes the only course of action for businesses, having not only a good bankruptcy attorney, but also having an involved IP attorney is vital to ensure that rights in valuable intellectual property are appropriately addressed and maintained. A basic understanding of Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 commercial bankruptcy options can help I.......
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The New Trade Secret Law Impact on Business
November 28, 2016
Post by Patricia A. Sweeney - Of Counsel
     It's just nine months old, but the new Defend Trade Secrets Act provides for a new stronger defense of key intellectual property.  Enacted May 11, 2016, the law provides for the first time for a uniform federal law protecting trade secrets.  Previously, trade secrets could be enforced only according to variable state law, and in state courts.  .......
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UPDATE: Federal Trade Secret Act Signed into Law
May 11, 2016
Post by Blog Staff
Today (May 11, 2016), the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) of 2016 was signed into law by President Obama.  The DTSA was passed in the House of Representatives on April 27, by a vote of 410-2.  The Senate had previously passed the DTSA on April 4 by a vote of 87-0. The DTSA was presented to the President for signature on April 29, who issued a statement earlier to indicate his full s.......
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Do I have a trade secret, confidential information or patentable subject matter? (Part 5 of Trade Secret Series)
April 04, 2016
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.
Jill N. Link, Pharm.D. In this fifth installment of the Filewrapper® series on trade secrets we begin to dive into the differences between confidential information, a trade secret and patentable subject matter. Here is a hint—they are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, the decision to should protect an asset as a trade secret as opposed to a patent may be a difficult one.  .......
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Will the U.S. Enact a Federal Trade Secret Law? (Part 4 of Trade Secret Series)
February 02, 2016
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.
Jill N. Link, Pharm.D. In this Filewrapper® series relating to all things trade secrets, we have previously posted on the role and value of trade secrets (available here), described how the value of trade secrets are commonly assessed (available here), and provided an overview on the current protection schemes available for trade secrets in the U.S. (available here). .......
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How Are Trade Secrets Protected? (Part 3 of Trade Secret Series)
January 21, 2016
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.
Jill N. Link, Pharm.D. Filewrapper® previously introduced a new series of blog postings on the value and role of trade secrets, along with strategies to ensure protection. Previous posts first gave an overview of the role and value of trade secrets (available here), and then described how the value of trade secrets are commonly assessed (available here). In this third posti.......
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Assessing the Value of Trade Secrets (Part 2 of Trade Secret Series)
November 11, 2015
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.
Jill N. Link, Pharm.D. Filewrapper® previously introduced a new series of blog postings on the value and role of trade secrets, along with strategies to ensure protection. Before diving into best practices for protection this post provides an outline of the value trade secrets can provide to a company or to a particular technology.  Often a value assessment goes hand-in-hand with.......
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Understanding the Role and Value of Trade Secrets and how to Protect Them
October 11, 2015
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.
Jill N. Link, Pharm.D. We all know a core technology can drive a company. As a patent attorney I see this every day.  However, equally important is the Information about the technology or the business itself that can be an invaluable driver of a technology or the company itself. Depending on the technology you work with and the type of company protecting it, you may already fully.......
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Trade Secret Symposium
January 06, 2015
Post by Jill N. Link, Pharm.D.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is hosting a Trade Secret Symposium on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at its headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia. This symposium is the first of its kind for trade secrets. More information is available on the USPTO website. Both live and webcast attendance is available for this event. The USPTO symposium will focus on the protection of U.S. t.......
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Update on "Patent Troll" Legislation in the Wake of the 2014 Elections
December 17, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
In December of 2013, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3309, the "Innovation Act," ostensibly to address the problem of abusive patent litigation, sometimes referred to as patent trolling. While H.R. 3309 passed with bipartisan support by an overwhelming margin of 325-91 votes, its companion bill failed to clear the Senate. Failure of the Senate bill is attributable to removal of controve.......
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Should Trade Secret Misappropriation be Federalized?
September 17, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
The legal community (along with bipartisan legislation) has been discussing the creation of a private cause of action under federal laws for trade secret misappropriation – or trade secret theft. In light increased cyber-espionage and the apparent ease in which trade secrets can be misappropriated in the marketplace, Congress has taken an apparent interest in "strengthening" trade secret protection.......
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Federal Trade Secret Protection Proposed in the Senate
June 05, 2014
Post by Blog Staff
Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2014 Senators Chris Coon (D-DE) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) proposed a bill on April 29, 2014 that would provide federal protection for trade secrets. Under the current state of the law, trade secrets are protected by a combination of various state statutes, state common law, and aspects of contract law. There is no private federal cause of action for appropriation of trade secrets, althoug.......
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New and Useful - July 10, 2013
July 10, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
· InConvolve v. Compaq Computer the Federal Circuit affirmed in part the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruling that Compaq Computer Corp., Seagate Technology, LLC., and Seagate Technology, Inc. did not misappropriate 11 of 15 alleged trade secrets from Convolve, Inc. In addition, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment that 8 claims of U.......
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Accent Packaging, Inc. v. Leggett & Platt, Inc.: Reminders on Claim Construction, Discovery Matters
February 06, 2013
Post by Blog Staff
In Accent Packaging, Inc. v. Leggett & Platt, Inc., the Federal Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the district court’s grant of summary judgment of non-infringement. Accent is the assignee of U.S. Patents 7,373,877 (the '877 patent) and 7,412,992 (the '992 patent). The patents are drawn to a wire tier device useful for baling and handling recyclables and solid waste to facilitate be.......
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Today's lesson for litigators: make sure you present all your arguments to the district court
August 21, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision Tuesday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's holding that two patents were invalid under the on-sale bar of 35 U.S.C. § 102(b). The inventor filed a declaration during prosecution that the invention was reduced to practice before the critical date of the patents, and thereafter sold the claimed method, also before the critical date. The post-reduction to practice sales could n.......
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Seventh Circuit: Injunction against use of plaintiff's copyrights and trade secrets too vague
January 14, 2008
Post by Blog Staff
In a decision last week, the Seventh Circuit vacated and remanded a district court's preliminary injunction in a copyright and trade secret case. The court addressed the degree of specificity necessary for an injunction against misappropriating trade secrets and infringing copyrights, and vacated the injunction because it failed to detail the substance of the trade secret or confidential information the defe.......
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The problem of marketing an idea: how much do you tell a prospective licensee?
December 06, 2006
Post by Blog Staff
Forbes has an interesting piece regarding marketing ideas, specifically way to protect an idea when pitching it to companies or ways to avoid "giving something away" in the process. It's written to be easily understood by non-lawyers, and has some good general suggestions. Notably absent from the list: using the line "I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."....
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Mattel sues makers of Bratz dolls for trade secret misappropriation
November 27, 2006
Post by Blog Staff
Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie dolls, sued a former employee, Carter Bryant, for trade secret misappropriation in 2004. Now, Mattel is attempting to add MGA Entertainment, makers of the relatively new Bratz dolls, to the case. Mattel alleges that Mr. Bryant conceived of the Bratz doll design while working for Mattel, and therefore Mattel owns the rights to Bratz dolls.Mattel is also attempting to register se.......
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Purpose

The attorneys of McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. designed this blog as an informational and educational resource about intellectual property law for our clients, other attorneys, and the public as a whole. Our goal is to provide cutting-edge information about recent developments in intellectual property law, including relevant case law updates, proposed legislation, and intellectual property law in the news.

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McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. provides this blog for general informational purposes only. By using this blog, you agree that the information on this blog does not constitute legal or other professional advice and no attorney-client or other relationship is created between you and McKee, Voorhees & Sease, P.L.C. Do not consider this blog to be a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified, licensed attorney. While we try to revise this blog on a regular basis, it may not reflect the most current legal developments. We consciously refrain from expressing opinions on this blog and instead, offer it as a form of information and education, however if there appears an expression of opinion, realize that those views are indicative of the individual and not of the firm as a whole.

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