Whether to protect inventions with patents or trade secrets, or both, can be a critical business decision. Establishing ownership of secrets, handling employee termination situations, negotiating trade secret related contracts, and responding to corporate espionage can also be crucial. Enforcing trade secrets and defending against cases claiming misuse of trade secrets both require specialized care.
Our lawyers have helped clients handle some of the thorniest trade secret situations. As an example, we helped a highly prominent sports and fitness company exit a lawsuit early that claimed the company had misappropriated secrets. Other firm lawyers provided a prominent vehicle manufacturer with a suite of agreements resolving trade secret issues for wide-ranging situations of paid research, supplier development, joint development, and manufacturing phase process improvements.
In 2008, three of our lawyers: Dale H. Hoscheit, Frederic M. Meeker and Joseph M. Skerpon, were requested by the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of General Counsel to provide advice to an official Ukrainian delegation charged with the responsibility of drafting a new trade secret law for the Eastern European country. CLDP provides commercial law technical assistance to governments and private sectors of developing and transitional countries in support of their economic development goals. The program draws from expertise throughout the U.S. Government, as well as leading professionals from the private sector and international organizations to implement their programs.
Our lawyers participated in extensive discussions with the Ukrainian delegation during their visit to the U.S. and were asked to provide expert advice on U.S. legislation and practice regarding trade secret protection and enforcement.