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Diving into the Trade Secrets Debate: The Listing Predicament

Today's General Counsel

  • December 15, 2023

David Pardue wrote in Today's General Counsel about a captivating debate in the trade secrets world: to list or not to list. 

He wrote about how he watched this debate play out at a trade secrets summit earlier this year. As a lawyer who defends trade secrets lawsuits, David noted, the defense will go after your company's sufficiency of establishing a trade secret so the company is better off having a list than not.

"On the other side of this debate, counsel for some large technology companies argued that creating a list leaves the chance of inadvertently missing something," he wrote. "This group’s position was that failure to properly list the trade secrets could lead to a loss at trial — so why take the risk of a list? Plus, this group argued, the list will never be complete or current because trade secrets are complex and constantly evolving."

"Even with these fundamental differences, both sides agreed that trade secrets need to be actively managed to be protected and to maximize the intellectual property of the business. Trade secrets often are what distinguishes one company from its competitors. Think of a trade secret like a company’s secret sauce."

"The last thing a company wants is for an employee to leave for a competitor and walk out the door with the sauce recipe. Yet, few companies are doing a good job of managing their trade secret portfolio. So, when an employee does leave and an alleged trade secret or proprietary information goes with them, it is my experience that companies are often caught flat-footed."

To read the full article, click here: Diving Into the Trade Secret Debate: The Listing Predicament

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