Trade Secrets


September 4, 2013 1:20 PM | Posted by Garrison, Sean | Permalink

Frequently, parties enter into IP license agreements in which the licensor grants a license or other rights to a bundle of its intellectual property (patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, know-how, etc.) pertaining to a particular product or technology.  In many instances, these agreements include both patents and non-patent IP - often referred to as “hybrid” agreements.  In considering the royalties to be charged in hybrid agreements, licensors must be careful to distinguish royalty payments attributable to any licensed patents from payments for the rights to the non-patent IP.  Failing to do so can lead to an unexpected cut-off of the royalty revenue stream.  Stephen Kimble learned the hard way.

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June 18, 2013 7:17 PM | Posted by Olafson, Shane | Permalink
Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA), "trade secrets" are generally defined as confidential proprietary information that provides a competitive advantage or economic benefit. Trade secrets are protected under the Economic Espionage Act of 1994 (EEA) at the federal level, and the vast majority of states have enacted statutes modeled after the UTSA (note that some jurisdictions, such as California, Texas and Illinois, have adopted trade secret laws that differ substantially from the UTSA; thus, businesses should research laws in the relevant jurisdiction(s).). Under the UTSA, to be protectable as a trade secret, information must meet three requirements:

i. the information must fall within the statutory definition of "information" eligible for protection;

ii. the information must derive independent economic value from not being generally known or readily ascertainable by others using appropriate means; and

iii. the information must be the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its secrecy.
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February 8, 2011 1:11 PM | Posted by Horne, Alexa | Permalink
Bimbo Bakeries USA, Inc. ("Bimbo") is one of the four largest companies in the U.S. baking industry. Bimbo and its affiliates produce and distribute a wide range of well-known baked goods, including Thomas’, Entenmann’s, Arnold, Orowheat and Boboli. In February 2010, the Federal District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Bimbo’s motion for a preliminary injunction against Chris Botticella ("Botticella"), enjoining him from accepting an offer of employment with Hostess Brands, Inc. ("Hostess"), one of Bimbo’s competitors, based on misappropriation of trade secrets involving Thomas’ English Muffins’ "nooks and crannies." Botticella appealed the lower court decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s order and remanded the case back to the lower court read more
January 26, 2011 3:11 PM | Posted by Norcross, Linda M. | Permalink
Innovation is a common buzzword these days, as companies search for new and unique ways to distinguish themselves and even turn a profit. How do companies large and small stand out among their competitors in today’s economy? How does a company turn an idea into a billion dollar intellectual asset, which ultimately strengthens its balance sheet and/or attractiveness to potential investors or purchasers? One way is to better understand how to build a solid brand identity that stands out and outlasts the others. When brand clearance and management is an afterthought that follows instead of intersects with the creative process, companies fail to take full advantage of the value of that brand. Companies with an understanding and appreciation for all of the factors that go into building an effective, competitive branding campaign will reap the benefits of a brand identity that enjoys strength, longevity, a more significant impact on the marketplace, and a far greater return on the initial investment. read more
October 19, 2010 7:52 PM | Posted by Olafson, Shane | Permalink
Intellectual property accounts for the majority of all property owned by modern corporations. Because of its value, liability for alleged infringement is a major risk facing businesses today. Companies of all sizes may encounter lawsuits for a variety of intellectual property disputes, including patent infringement, trademark or trade dress infringement, copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and privacy violations, just to name a few. read more
July 21, 2010 5:55 PM | Posted by Bayton, Emily | Permalink
Apple’s slogan - There’s An App for That™ - is catchy and seemingly true.  Apple markets and sells applications for its iPhone product that cover almost anything a consumer could want . . . applications for cooks, students, moms and dads…applications for the outdoors, work, music, managing money, traveling and many more.  In a speech at the 2010 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Steve Jobs stated that Apple passed 5 billion total applications downloaded, with over $1 billion paid to application developers - these are staggering numbers.  But with the good, comes the bad... read more