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Posts Tagged: "confidential information"

What Patent Attorneys, Patent Agents and Law Firms Need to Know about Client Communications

Recently, however, the USPTO and the Federal Circuit have both clarified that a patent agent’s communications related to his or her authorized practice are protected in the same manner as attorney client communications, such as those by patent attorneys… Further, state courts are not bound by USPTO rules or Federal Circuit law. Accordingly, to the extent a patent agent’s communications regarding his or her authorized practice are at issue in a state court proceeding that can’t be removed to a federal jurisdiction, the communications may not have the same protection as that provided in a federal court or AIA proceeding. Although the circumstances under which communications between a patent agent and a client would be discoverable in litigation in state court are limited, the potential admissibility in various states leaves a gap in the potential privilege.

What is a Confidentiality Agreement and Why are they So Important?

A Confidentiality Agreement, which is also known as non-disclosure agreement or simply as an NDA, is simply a contract between two or more parties where the subject of the agreement is a promise that information conveyed will be maintained in secrecy… These types of agreements are particularly useful when one is disclosing information that is valuable so long as secrecy is maintained (i.e., a trade secret), which can include both invention related information and business related information.

Developing a Plan for Employee Departures in California

As discussed elsewhere in this Take 5, although California employers generally cannot restrict an employee’s ability to work elsewhere, California employers can protect their trade secrets and confidential information. One pillar of a successful plan to do so is having an employee departure protocol.

Critical Importance of Realistically Identifying and Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information

California employers often face an upward battle when it comes to protecting against competitive activity by former employees… In order to safeguard their trade secrets, companies doing business in California need to be on the offensive to ensure that they are properly protected at both the beginning and end of the employment relationship. At the beginning of an employment relationship, employers may set the groundwork for protecting trade secrets by entering into confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements with their employees. These agreements will help establish one element of a claim under the UTSA, which is that the employer took reasonable steps to identify its trade secrets and maintain their confidentiality.

Protecting a Trade Secret: Taking Precautions to Preserve Secrecy

Trade secrets are easy to protect, at least in theory, because all the law requires is that the owner of the trade secret take reasonable precautions to keep that valuable business information a secret (i.e., not known by the general public). What is reasonable will vary depending on the value of the business information, but keeping things such as customer lists in a filing cabinet in a locked office and stamping the file “Confidential” are relatively low cost efforts and should be employed by everyone seeking to protect information as a trade secret. Any other efforts you take are certainly helpful.

Trade Secrets: Managing Information Assets in the Age of Cyberespionage

The titans of the 19th Century made fortunes because they controlled access to the raw materials and infrastructure of commerce: steel, oil, lumber, railroads, canals, shipping. In contrast, the Third Industrial Revolution creates value not just from ideas that improve our ability to transform materials, but from information itself. This shift to intangible assets has been profound, but so swift that few have paid sufficient attention to the magnitude of the change. In the Information Age, your secrets – a new technology, a business plan, insights extracted from data analytics – define your competitive advantage. And because business is global, competition can emerge anywhere, anytime.