In my previous article, I discussed the initial considerations and steps one should make upon receiving a patent demand letter. Particularly, identifying the allegations and sender. In part two, I discuss the subject or content of the letter — i.e., what is the sender asking for? As with most things, infringement letters come in a number of flavors. Read more
During the course of a United States litigation — whether under the new, federal Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) or the older state-adopted Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) — it is required that a plaintiff provide a description of the trade secrets allegedly stolen. What constitutes an adequate identification of the stolen or misappropriated trade secrets depends on the nature of the trade secrets, the facts of the case, and the relevant jurisdiction. Read more
Contrary to popular belief — especially among business owners — trade secrets are not only found in top secret, highly-secure research labs. Rather, almost every business possesses trade secrets, regardless of whether the business is small, medium or large.
A trade secret is anything that is:
- Not generally known or readily accessible to the relevant business circles or to the public;
- Gives some sort of potential or actual economic benefit to its owner where the benefit derives from the fact that the thing is not generally known, and not just from the value of the thing itself; and
- Is subject to “reasonable steps,” depending on the specific circumstances, to keep it secret.
Historically, trade secrets, if even considered, were treated as an afterthought. If there was some sort of non-disclosure agreement on file somewhere, companies were satisfied and turned their attention to patents, copyrights, and designs.
This attitude is changing for a number of reasons.