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Trade Secrets Archives

News and Notes Focused on the 3 Public Faces of IP Law

  • Brand Image Protection - Trademark Law
  • Visual Image Protection - Copyright Law
  • Personal Image Protection - Right of Publicity Law

The Image Protection Law blog has been created in order to share stories and information on the legal aspects of: 1) the marketplace reputation of a company or product captured in its trademark, 2) published or publicly-displayed artwork, photography, and any created visual design, and 3) use of a person's photograph or likeness for product promotion or other commercial purposes.

The "IP3" share at least one thing in common: Image is everything. In these posts let's look at what that means in the realm of intellectual property in the news, but let's also be prepared to explore if there's something more beyond "everything." Don't forget, the intellectual in "intellectual property" doesn't mean smart or brainy, although by nature true creators often are. The word is used to refer to any creation, i.e., a "product of the mind." While this blog will be regularly updated, you are encouraged to share your thoughts on these posts.

The basics of a trade secret

Businesses both small and large want to protect the information or know-how that is crucial to their financial success and sustained future. Sometimes this information is in the public sphere, but protected by law. In other situations, the information is kept secret and is maintained privately within the company. These pieces of information are called trade secrets, and they inherently hold value due to their nature of not being public. Maintaining and protecting these trade secrets are critical parts of what truly makes them "trade secrets."

Find the right venue for misappropriated trade secrets relief

Speed matters. We see it in the debate over internet neutrality. No one wants to be left in the dust. In business, the need for speed is especially important in protecting trade secrets. Information zips around the world in the blink of an eye and if that information happens to include proprietary secrets, a business's financial viability could be at risk.

Trade secret dispute muddies optics for hip glasses retailer

Never underestimate the power of inventorship. That could prove to be one moral of a story that is unfolding in a trade secret dispute in the optical industry. At the heart of the case is one telehealth company's claim that it's been the victim of trade secret theft by fast-growing glasses retailer Warby Parker.

Legal options exist for seeking trade secret protection

In May of this year, the country marked the first anniversary of the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act. The intent of the measure was to give companies an expanded menu of ways to protect their secrets against misappropriation by opening the door to federal court.

Patent protection vs. trade secrets: a brief look at some relevant considerations, P.2

Last time, we mentioned that it is not always possible or desirable to obtain patent protection for valuable business information and that trade secret protection can provide a viable and even preferable alternative to patent protection in some cases. We'd like to pick back up on that thought in this post.  

Patent protection vs. trade secrets: a brief look at some relevant considerations, P.1

In our previous post, we briefly discussed some of the differences between utility and design patents. As we noted, patent protection isn’t necessarily limited to a single type of patent; in some cases, it may be desirable to obtain both a utility and a design patent on an invention.

Businesses: carefully consider differences between state, federal trade secret protections

In previous posts, we've looked very briefly at trade secret protections available to businesses under both state and federal law. As we've noted, there are many similarities between federal and state trade secret protection law, but there are also some differences that business should be aware of when determining the best strategy to protect their trade secrets.  

Trade secret protections available at both state, federal level, P.2

In a previous post, we took a brief look at California’s Uniform Trade Secrets Act, and some of the basic features it provides to businesses in terms of trade secret protection. As we noted last time, businesses rather recently gained the ability to enforce trade secrets under federal law, with last year’s passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act.

Trade secret protections available at both state, federal level

When many people think of intellectual property protections, they think of trademark, copyright and patent protection. While these protections are certainly important, there is another form of intellectual property protection that businesses actually rely on more often: trade secrets.

The importance of protecting trade secrets

Trade secrets are an important component of a business that requires protection. Generally, trade secrets include information that has economic value and is not publicly known. It is important to take reasonable steps to keep trade secrets from being revealed and to keep them secret. Trade secrets that a business owner may wish to protect can include formulas, methods, programs, techniques, processes, customer lists, customer requirements, product specifications, pricing strategies and recipes.

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