Saturday, November 19, 2005, 11/19/2005 12:29:00 PM

Trade Secrets: The Other Intellectual Property

Why do companies have so many problems dealing with Trade Secrets?

Why are companies typically dealing with Trade Secrets in a reactive mode?

One main reason: Failure to have a Plan.

More broadly, as our experience in trade secrets litigation has shown over and over, few companies have a comprehensive plan in place for the protection of trade secrets. The survey data confirms that the majority of companies do not provide a comprehensive framework for safeguarding trade secrets. Instead, in most companies the responsibility for trade secrets protection "if, indeed, responsibility has been assigned at all" is split between the legal department, the human relations department, the information technology function, and sometimes even physical plant security. Divided responsibility, of course, is a recipe for problems. The most common problem is that a divided responsibility becomes no one's responsibility.

For most companies, this is a recipe for disaster.


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