James Pooley

James Pooley

James Pooley is a former Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Jim has a private law practice in Silicon Valley where he specializes in trade secret litigation and counseling.

For more than 40 years, Jim represented clients in high-stakes trade secret and patent disputes. His broad litigation experience, combined with his service as an international diplomat and business executive, make him uniquely qualified to serve as advisor, co-counsel, expert or ADR neutral (he is a panel member of FedArb) in trade secret disputes, and to consult with companies about trade secret management. His most recent book, Secrets: Managing Information Assets in the Age of Cyberespionage, is available here.


Posts by James Pooley


Patents are from Mars, Trade Secrets are From Venus

Back in ancient times, in this case 1990, John Gray, an obscure “relationship counselor” with a correspondence degree in psychology, was perplexed. The communication problems of the heterosexual …
By James Pooley
1 year ago 10

Has China Finally Embraced Robust Trade Secret Protection?

It happened to Japan in the 1950s. Then it happened to Taiwan, and then Korea. Rapidly-developing countries started out relying on copying foreign technologies to drive their …
By James Pooley
1 year ago 1

The Transmissibility of Information: How Your Trade Secrets Are Like a Virus

If you run a business that depends on data to drive success — and what business doesn’t these days? — this tendency of information assets to escape is …
By James Pooley
2 years ago 1

Do Your ‘Home Work’: Keeping Trade Secrets Safe While Working Remotely

An essential element of trade secret protection is that the owner has made “reasonable” efforts to keep the information a secret. But as the Uniform Trade Secrets …
By James Pooley
2 years ago 4

You Own It, Now What Are You Going to Do with It? – Why Trade Secrets Are Treated Like Property: Part 2

In last month’s post, Part 1 of this series, we considered the view of European academics that trade secrets are not “intellectual property” because they don’t …
By James Pooley
2 years ago 7

It’s About Control, Not Exclusion: Why Trade Secrets Are Treated Like Property, Part 1

Sometimes it seems that trade secrets are always fighting for respect. I recently ran into a friend who teaches at a European university. He somehow found a …
By James Pooley
2 years ago 5

Trusting Your Secrets to the Government

According to Merriam-Webster, the “Word of the Year for 2019 is “they” when used in the singular, typically to avoid ascribing a gender to the person being referred …
By James Pooley
2 years ago 0

The Dark Side of Secrecy: What Theranos Can Teach Us About Trade Secrets, Regulation and Innovation

The spectacular failure of blood-testing firm Theranos is the subject of a riveting book, Bad Blood by investigative reporter John Carreyrou, and an engaging documentary, “The Inventor” …
By James Pooley
2 years ago 5

Five Tips for Keeping Safe with Your Head in the Cloud

Management of trade secrets is fraught with competing interests. There is the tradeoff between security and inconvenience—for example, the annoying wait for a special code to …
By James Pooley
2 years ago 0

Of Supply Chains and Fireworks: A Trade War with China is Easy to Lose

Over the course of two weeks, the United States has imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of Chinese goods and has blacklisted Huawei, the world's …
By James Pooley
3 years ago 5

Some Progress in the International Effort to Harmonize Trade Secret Protection

In 1994, the United States was winding up the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations leading to the establishment of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Tucked in among the …
By James Pooley
3 years ago 5

A Lack of Focus on Trade Secrets Can Pose Serious Risks

We all talk about the importance of data as business assets, but when it comes to buying and selling the companies that own them, we seem not …
By James Pooley
3 years ago 1

Of Secret Sales and Public Uses: The Practical Consequences of the Supreme Court’s Helsinn Decision

It seemed like a trade secret trifecta when Congress in 2011 passed the America Invents Act (AIA). Although the statute was aimed at patent reform, it made three …
By James Pooley
3 years ago 1

Trade Secret Disputes: Identifying Mutual Interest in the Face of Major Disagreement

It’s a challenge to resolve business disputes when emotions run high, which includes almost all trade secret cases. So, I was especially pleased when, in a …
By James Pooley
3 years ago 1

The Role of Stupidity in Trade Secrets

Although every case had its own special facts reflecting unique personalities, technologies and business models, one necessary element was present in every single case. Somebody had done …
By James Pooley
3 years ago 4