The Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) of 2016 was signed into law on May 11th, adding national and international protection for trade secrets to the already-existing state-level laws, which are allowed to remain in place according to the new federal statute. The DTSA taken together with the AIA’s prior use protections, provides 2-part protection, which may allow a company to continue to use its trade secreted inventions even if another entity subsequently patents the invention. This new paradigm is a game-changer for IP strategy - especially for defense, as it adds another route for IP protection outside the usual "race to the patent office".
Would a patent really be an effective way to protect your IP? Owning a patent might actually work against your interests by disseminating your proprietary information. Enter trade secrets.
If you are like most technology managers, you know you have trade secrets in the organization, but you don't know what they are. You know you have to protect "them" from loss, but what are "they"?
The protecting phase includes the legal processes for creating a patent application, filing in the appropriate jurisdiction and prosecuting the application through to the grant of the patent.
Is your company planning to layoff employees in response to a tougher economic environment? Do you have a process for preventing valuable intellectual assets from walking out the door along with your exiting employees?