Continue Reading Selecting, Clearing, and Protecting Your IP–a Top Priority for Startups, StartupSac

The enforceability of restrictive covenants, particularly non-compete agreements, can be very difficult for employers to navigate, especially for companies in their “start-up” phase. Technology companies in particular face challenges in
Continue Reading A Non-Compete Law Roadmap for Tech Start-Ups in Key Jurisdictions

As an emerging tech company, trade secrets and other confidential information can provide you with competitive advantages in the marketplace. However, as your business grows, the need to protect critical trade secrets is sometimes overlooked. Unfortunately, failure to take reasonable measures to safeguard this information may result in the inability to protect these valued assets when necessary.

Emerging tech companies can gain an advantage in protecting their trade secrets by taking a systematic approach to:

  1. understanding their trade secret portfolios;
  2. evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of existing policies and procedures being used to protect these valuable assets; and
  3. implementing corrective measures to protect trade secrets from misappropriation and misuse.

For companies without existing policies and procedures, conducting a comprehensive trade secret audit may be beneficial as well.


Continue Reading Is Your Business Good at Keeping Secrets?

Top SecretTwo of the most important requirements of patentability are that the invention must be novel and non-obvious at the filing date of the patent application. In the United States, the prior sale, prior use or public disclosure of the invention by the inventor or others may affect your ability to obtain a valid patent.  Inventors may inadvertently jeopardize their ability to successfully apply for or be granted a patent by disclosing any information about the invention to the public, and thus, may fail to meet the requirement of novelty and/or non-obviousness.

Additionally, when you disclose an idea to the public, you risk waiving related trade secret as well as patent rights. Trade secrets are only enforceable when you have taken steps to ensure they are—and will remain—secret. Although an inventor has up to one year from a public disclosure to file a patent application in the U.S., it is strongly advised that an inventor first take precautions to protect all IP, or risk losing all IP rights. In the new U.S. first-inventor-to-file system, it is even more important to be savvy about disclosure – or you risk that another inventor could file a patent application before you.
Continue Reading Understanding What to Keep Secret