Companies often rely on trade secret protection for their most valuable intellectual property. Trade secret can protect many different types of valuable information such as chemical formulas, business or manufacturing methods or processes, software programs or designs. In the US, trade secret protection has been a matter of state law. However, on May 11, 2016, President Obama signed into law the first federal trade secret law, the Defend Trade Secret Act (DTSA).

For an overview of the new law, take a look at http://www.finnegan.com/news/newsdetail.aspx?news=08ded6c4-1886-4dde-b8f2-86e1db18652c. Finnegan has also produced a podcast on the new law: http://www.finnegan.com/podcasts/PodcastDetail.aspx?pub=88e91d7c-89dc-46ba-9dfb-0a086e72d707. (Finnegan has long been a supporter of CERC IP work and Finnegan lawyer Shaobin Zhu contributed to the CERC IP Guide and is a member of the CERC IP Experts Group).

A more detailed description is available at http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/defend-trade-secrets-act-signed-into-law-73692/ and a comparison of the new DTSA and the EU Trade Secret Directive can be found at http://patentlyo.com/patent/2016/05/comparison-secrets-directive.html.

For some practical insights into protecting trade secret in the US and China, see Allen & Overy Partner, Benjamin Bai’s presentation to CERC at http://www.us-china-cerc.org/pdfs/Trade_Secrets_in_China_tutorial_BAI.pdf.

Trade Secrets – A Viable Alternative to Patents – IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law. Attorney Peter Toren offers some thoughts on why it’s important to consider Trade Secret as one tool for IP protection.

U.S. Patent Prosecution for Support Staff: A Desk Reference: Rosaleen A. Walsh. I have yet to read this, but it looks interesting. The Amazon description: U.S. Patent Prosecution for Support Staff is a practical desk reference, designed to promote ongoing learning and job proficiency for paralegals and secretaries assisting patent practitioners in submitting filings to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It presents complex filing requirements in an easy-to-follow format, and reduces volumes of information into concise, accessible learning points that will assist both novice and seasoned support staff alike as they work to develop or update the breadth and depth of their knowledge of U.S. patent prosecution. A comprehensive guide, U.S. Patent Prosecution for Support Staff provides a detailed step-by-step guide to the filing requirements for the most frequently filed activities in U.S. patent prosecution, as well as more novel filings. The content includes the most recent provisions of the America Invents Act, the American Invents Act Technical Corrections Bill, and the Patent Law Treaty.

Preliminary Injunctions in China: the Pendulum Has Swung Back! | Kluwer Patent Blog. Author Benjamin Bai, head of Allen & Overy’s China IP practice and a member of the US CERC’s IP Experts Group recently succeeded in obtaining a patent-based preliminary injunction in China, his third in the last year. Here he describes two of the patent PIs and two trade-secret PIs – observing that Chinese courts have changed their posture in a significant and very positive way with regard to preliminary injunctions.

Patent Drafting: Not as Easy as You Think – IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law. We all know how important it is to patent an invention, but some consider the do-it-yourself approach. This article explains the importance of getting it right, which may (likely will) require an expert to draft the patent. There are also some good IPWatchdog.com links to some basic patenting information.

A Business Tutorial: Four Ways to Stretch Your Patent Budget – IPWatchdog.com | Patents & Patent Law.