Posts Tagged: "Trade Secrets"

Best Mode Patent-Raptor Claims Another Victim in Wellman

What is startling about Wellman is how the patentee put the ‘863 and ‘317 patents squarely in the path of the “best mode” Patent-Raptor by deliberately keeping the Ti818 recipe a trade secret. As I’ve instructed numerous clients, you have a clear choice on “best mode” issue: (1) disclose the “best mode” and file the patent; or (2) don’t file the patent if you want to keep the “best mode” as a trade secret. There is simply no “in between” on this issue. The only question now is whether the Tyrannosaurus Rex of patent law (inequitable conduct) will devour what is left of the Wellman patents.

Patent Reform: Expanded Prior Users Rights is a Bad Idea

A prior user rights defense prevents those who have previously used the patented invention from being infringers. In many parts of the world there are strong prior user rights, which allow those who keep innovation as a trade secret hidden away from the public to later use those trade secrets as a defense to a patent infringement lawsuit. You can’t sue me for patent infringement because I have been hiding, using that innovation you patented as a trade secret. So the party that disseminates the information for the benefit of the public loses in favor of the party that kept the innovation a closely guarded secret. This has never struck me as fair, a good idea or even in keeping with the Constitutional purpose for patents.

The Business of Social Media: Protecting Trade Secrets & Trademarks in a Socially Networked World

The demographics on users of social media can be surprising – a large percentage are over 35, and have six-figure incomes. These users have a lot of buying power and are often making the purchasing decisions for their households. Once they know this, clients can grasp the importance of both using social media proactively. But what is the risk? In the trade secret arena you could lose everything through inappropriate use by you or your employees, and the same is true in the trademark context as well.

Trade Secrets: A Valuable and Often Overlooked Asset

Trade secrets are a very important part of any intellectual property portfolio. It is not at all an overstatement to say that virtually every business has trade secrets worth protection, regardless of whether the business is run as a sole proprietorship, a small business or Fortune 500 company. This is true because any business information that is valuable as a result of being kept secret qualifies for treatment as a trade secret. Nevertheless, it may be better to say that every business has assets that could and should be protected as trade secrets, but the truth is that many companies, even large companies, fail to do so properly.

eBay’s PayPal Sued for $11.4 Billion for Patent Infringement

The complaint seeks $3.8 billion in damages at a minimum, but no event less than a fair and full reasonable royalty, but also seeks tripled damages as a result of willful infringement, which would bring the total to $11.4 billion at a minimum. While willful infringement is quite hard to prove, if the facts actually are what is alleged it would seem as if the case is exceptional, which could lead to triple damages and attorneys fees as well. So when you add that all together and add pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, the total amount on the line could easily exceed $15 billion. And before you write this off as a patent troll trying to hold up a true innovator, which some of the uninformed in the popular press are doing already, read the rest of the article and take a look at the complaint. If the facts alleged even remotely resemble reality this could turn out to be an epic battle to which we will all want front row seats!

Understanding Intellectual Property Basics

Intellectual property is probably best thought of (at least in general terms) as creations of the mind that are given the legal rights often associated with real or personal property. The rights that are given are a function of statutory law (i.e., law created by the legislature). These statutes may be federal or state laws, or in some instance both…

Don’t Get A Patent? Plainly Ridiculous!

Increasingly on the Internet invention advertising is taking an odd and seemingly inexplicable turn toward advising independent inventors to not seek patent protection, which is undeniably bad advice that will undoubtedly cause much disappointment and heart break for those who actually follow it.  But why is it that you are starting to see more and more advertisements that say it is…

Trade Secrets & Patents Perfect Together

A trade secret is any valuable business information that is not generally known and is subject to reasonable efforts to preserve confidentiality. One of the world’s most famous trade secrets is the formula for Coca-Cola.  A trade secret will be protected from misappropriation from exploitation (through state law) by those who either obtain access through improper means or who breach…

Protecting Trade Secret Assets

If you ask the owners of most companies whether they have any intellectual property assets, assuming they know what you are talking about they are likely to say no.  The problem with that, however, is that the answer should universally be a resounding YES!  Every company has intellectual property assets.  The name of your company is an asset that can…