Jorda on: The Importance of Trade Secrets

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I would now like to share my conclusions about Trade Secrets, and thereby dispel some serious misconceptions about them that still linger and lurk around but should be eradicated once and for all.
My views would strike you as iconoclastic, if not heretical, should you believe, as does a noted professor in Washington, that Trade Secrets are the “cesspool of the patent system.” Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth! Trade Secrets are not only the oldest but also the most prevalent form of IP protection.
Over 90% of all new technology is grist for Trade Secrets. Patents are but tips of icebergs in an ocean of Trade Secrets. All technical and business information, including inventions, know-how and show-how can be maintained as Trade Secrets. Thus, Trade Secrets are not just for early-stage and subpatentable developments and manufacturing processes at best, as some believe.
All companies and institutions have tons of Proprietary Information, whether or not they appreciate it. In an IPO survey awhile back, 88% of the participating corporations rated Trade Secrets as their most important intellectual assets. So it’s no surprise that Trade Secrets are often referred to in industry as “crown jewels.” And, especially internationally, Trade Secrets are the “workhorse of technology transfer.” (Bob Sherwood)
Further proof of the importance of Trade Secrets is the fact that in recent Trade Secret litigation, Walt Disney, Cargill, and Toshiba each had to shell out several hundred million dollars in damages for Trade Secret misappropriation.
Karl Jorda

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This page contains a single entry by Jon Cavicchi published on September 17, 2007 12:06 PM.

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