Archive for Trade Secret

Defend Trade Secrets Act

President Obama recently signed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, which creates a federal cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. While national uniformity is likely several decades away – as the law is interpreted by federal courts, courts of appeals, and the Supreme Court, this brings uniformity to an area of law that was […]

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When Your Brand Also Happens to Be a Surname

So you’re about to launch a new brand, and to file an Intent-To-Use Application with the US Patent and Trademark Office. The application is rejected because the name of your brand is also a last name. Why was the mark rejected even though you’re not using it as an identifier of the name of the […]

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Protecting Your Company’s “Unfair Advantage”

When pitching a startup, it’s common to be asked what your unfair advantage is. Whether it’s that you have the best person in the field working with you, or some proprietary software, or patented hardware, it’s what gives you an advantage over an existing company, or a later entrant. There are ways to protect basically […]

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Trade Secret: The Fourth Kind of IP

We talk a lot here about copyright, trademarks, and patents. But sometimes you don’t want to publicly disclose your invention or creations – making copyright or patent protection impractical. Things like KFC’s 11 secret herbs and spices, and the recipe for coke are closely guarded trade secrets that have kept their strong protection for decades. […]

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