Trade Secrets 2011 University Basics


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2011 short presentation about trade secrets in univerisities, incl failed federal TS amendment to Economic Espionage Act, and how TS and America Invents act interact.

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Trade Secrets 2011 University Basics

  1. 1. Trade Secrets<br />University Basics<br />Kristine H. Johnson <br />MacMillan Sobanski & Todd, LLC<br /> &(970) 227-8008<br />
  2. 2. Brief Legal History<br />Moral obligations<br />Economic incentives<br />
  3. 3. Brief Legal History<br />State laws: “unfair competition”<br />Federal Courts use state law*<br />All: Close relatives of U.T.S.A.<br />*Except for the Economic Espionage Act<br />
  4. 4. Brief Legal History<br />Uniform Trade Secret Act<br />The Long Definition of "Trade Secret"<br />The whole or any portion or phase of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula, improvement, confidential business or financial information, listing of names, addresses, or telephone numbers, or other information relating to any business or profession which is secret and of value. To be a “trade secret” the owner thereof must have taken measures to prevent the secret from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto for limited purposes.<br />
  5. 5. Brief Legal History<br />Uniform Trade Secret Act<br />The Short Definition of "Trade Secret"<br />A Secret with Value<br />
  6. 6. A Trade Secret is<br />Information held by a pretty good, but not necessarily perfect, fence.<br />
  7. 7. A Trade Secret is<br />Information that is often a compilation of known information.<br />
  8. 8. A Trade Secret is<br />Information that gives the holder an economic advantage over competitors.<br />
  9. 9. A Trade Secret is<br />What the good guys have -- and the bad guys don't.<br />
  10. 10. A Trade Secret is not<br />Publicly known, <br />Unfenced, <br />Valueless,<br />Something the bad guys have.<br />
  11. 11. Failed Amendment to Economic Espionage Act (18 USC §1832)<br />Proposedby Sen. Coons (D-Del), on October 5, 2011, in S. 1619,<br /> in the Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act: <br />& Kolb (D-Wi) “would protect U.S. businesses from the theft of trade secrets by allowing victimized companies to sue for trade-secret theft in federal court. The legislation would allow for a single, uniform, nationwide cause of action instead of the patchwork of state laws now in place, and would elevate trade-secret intellectual property on the same level as copyright, trademark and patent violations.”<br />& Grassley (R-Iowa), “would help U.S. Customs and Border Protection by amending the Trade Secrets Act to give the Secretary of Homeland Security the legal authority to share basic information — like UPC codes and product samples — with American intellectual property holders to determine if a shipment contains counterfeit or infringing products. Current law strictly limits the information that CBP may share with a right holder pre-seizure.”<br />! October 11, 2011 voted down due to gross federalism problems !<br />
  12. 12. Failed Amendment to Economic Espionage Act (18 USC §1832)<br />Complaint must identify –“reasonable measures taken to protect” secrecy–sworn representation of “substantial need for nationwide service . . . or misappropriation . . . to another country”<br />Ex parte seizure of property or evidence <br />Remedies–injunctive relief against violation or requiring actions to protect secrets; reasonable royalty–actual loss, unjust enrichment; exemplary damages for malicious or willful misappropriation<br />Fees awardable<br />Three-year statute of limitations<br />
  13. 13. Trade Secret Fences<br />Legal – no brainer<br />Practical - brainer<br />
  14. 14. University Trade Secrets<br />Legal – no brainer<br />Agreements, of course<br />Must parse TS out, and be as specific as possible<br />
  15. 15. University Trade Secrets<br />Legal – hot spots<br />All non-public info is not trade secret info<br />“Know-how” is not one-size fits all<br />
  16. 16. University Trade Secrets<br />Practical - operation & trade secret specific<br /> Notebook security<br /> Computer security<br /> Lab security<br />
  17. 17. University Trade Secrets<br /> Universities imply trade secret ownership all the time when they “regulate” scientific publication: publication rights and attribution rights.<br />
  18. 18. University Trade Secret Value<br />Stop and think about real trade secrets in any deal <br />Identify specific trade secrets<br />Most likely source: ongoing work that is not patentable<br />Failure is valuable<br />
  19. 19. American Invents Act makes Trade Secrets more important<br /> Prior use rights – better for TS holder now, if you can prove held as a trade secret for more than one year prior to the patent filing<br />Best mode – demolished, so TS don’t need to be disclosed<br />Derivation proceedings - if a patent applicant derives their invention from petitioner’s TS (eg. a pseudo trade secret misappropriation)<br />
  20. 20. Trade Secrets - Respecting Value<br />Brief Legal History<br />Lessons From Food <br />Due Diligence Pointers<br />
  21. 21. Lessons from Food<br />The Cheese Biz<br />Doing business on a handshake<br />The Doppler effect<br />Real value<br />Lawyers are never enough<br />
  22. 22. Lessons from Food<br />The Cheese Biz<br />Bingham Hill Cheese<br />Some cheese fun<br />Some cheese not-fun<br />
  23. 23. Lessons from Food<br />Doing business on a handshake<br />Subcontractors<br />Employees<br />Distributors<br />Da Feds<br />Press<br />
  24. 24. Lessons from Food<br />The Doppler effect<br />Plan three times<br />Execute once<br />Clean up three times<br />
  25. 25. Lessons from Food<br />Real value<br />Don't assume<br />Let them talk<br />Use all of your senses, including your common one.<br />
  26. 26. Lessons from Food<br />Lawyers are never enough<br />Bingham Hill Cheese Company<br />versus <br />Morning Fresh Farm, et al.<br />
  27. 27. Trade Secrets - Respecting Value<br />Brief Legal History<br />Lessons From Food <br />Due Diligence Pointers<br />
  28. 28. Due Diligence Pointers<br />Talking to everyone<br />Listening (not the same as talking)<br />Looking Around<br />Agreements<br />Lawyers<br />
  29. 29. Due Diligence Pointers<br />Talking to everyone<br />Dude, where are you coming from?<br />Speak the language<br />Open-ended questions (Huh?)<br />Re-talking<br />
  30. 30. Due Diligence Pointers<br />Listening (not the same as talking)<br />Body Language<br />Culture<br />Not said<br />
  31. 31. Due Diligence Pointers<br />Looking Around<br />Postings<br />Inconsistencies<br />Evidence of good guy or bad guy<br />
  32. 32. Due Diligence Pointers<br />Lawyers<br />Service providers<br />Sit behind a computer all day<br />Know the law, (hopefully)<br />= hedgehogs<br />
  33. 33. Trade Secrets - Respecting Value<br />Brief Legal History<br />Lessons From Food <br />Due Diligence Pointers<br />