Secrecy V Collaboration

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You've come up with great new tech concepts - maybe even a business model. Do you talk about it to build interest and evolve concepts? Or do you keep it under lockdown to prevent theft and preserve IP rights? Or can you go down the middle? Ponder these questions and act smart.

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Secrecy V Collaboration

  1. 1. innovation dilemma: secrecy v. collaboration ernest grumbles merchant & gould 3.12.2010
  2. 2. secrecy v. collaboration <ul><li>origin of ideas </li></ul><ul><li>secrecy – good or bad? </li></ul><ul><li>ip and secrecy </li></ul>
  3. 3. origin of ideas: <ul><li>fiction: eureka! </li></ul><ul><li>fact: it’s complicated </li></ul><ul><li>is there anything new? </li></ul>
  4. 4. punk rock
  5. 5. an evolving conversation…
  6. 6. the manhattan project
  7. 7. <ul><li>linear collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>concurrent collaboration </li></ul>we’re all collaborating…
  8. 8. NDA'S SECRECY IS BAD.
  9. 9. <ul><li>open source – Android, Linux </li></ul><ul><li>collaborative work models </li></ul><ul><li>free/open discussion </li></ul>let the ideas out
  10. 10. <ul><li>theft – this is real </li></ul><ul><li>risks/rewards </li></ul><ul><ul><li>who will benefit </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>investors care </li></ul></ul><ul><li>loss of ip rights </li></ul>issues
  11. 11. SECRECY IS GOOD.
  12. 12. ideas kept in a lockbox… safety exclusivity ip protection
  13. 13. <ul><li>innovation stifled </li></ul><ul><li>collaboration inhibited </li></ul><ul><li>loss of crowd wisdom </li></ul><ul><li>business model suffers </li></ul>issues
  14. 14. ip and tech innovation <ul><li>exclusivity (for some period) </li></ul><ul><li>forms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>trade secret </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>patent </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>copyright (source code) </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. trade secrets - what? <ul><li>confidential information that has value from not being generally known </li></ul><ul><li>protected by statute (like Uniform Trade Secrets Act) and contract </li></ul>
  16. 16. trade secrets: examples MARKET PLANS, FINANCIALS, SUPPLIER LISTS, CUSTOMER LISTS
  17. 17. trade secrets: process <ul><li>maintain absolute secrecy of data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>public release = death </li></ul></ul><ul><li>identify inventions </li></ul><ul><li>control access – NDA’s </li></ul><ul><li>no registration process – “free” </li></ul>
  18. 18. patents: what? <ul><li>share your inventions and get limited grant of exclusivity (20 years) </li></ul><ul><li>promote linear collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>broker public/private benefit </li></ul>
  19. 19. patents: examples
  20. 20. patents: process <ul><li>evaluate inventions </li></ul><ul><li>application process ($5-20K) </li></ul><ul><li>provisional – ($1-5K) </li></ul><ul><li>2-5 years </li></ul><ul><li>a dead patent is dead </li></ul>
  21. 21. patents and secrecy <ul><li>confidentiality of inventions is essential </li></ul><ul><li>public use/sale (pre-filing) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in US, Canada, Japan: starts 1 year bar clock! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>elsewhere – patentability destroyed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>provisional patents – a quick fix </li></ul>
  22. 22. practicality <ul><li>know your IP </li></ul><ul><li>share info when it makes sense </li></ul><ul><li>use NDA’s to protect trade secrets (if at all possible) </li></ul><ul><li>be mindful of impact on IP rights </li></ul><ul><li>remember your investors </li></ul>
  23. 23. the end [email_address] www.ernestgrumbles.com 651.400.0629

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