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.

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.

Protect Your Trade Secrets | CREATe.org. New Report: Trade Secret Theft

CREATe.org joins PwC for the release of a new report: Economic Impact of Trade Secret Theft: A framework for companies to safeguard trade secrets and mitigate potential threats.

The report features essential information for companies concerned about trade secret theft:

An estimate of trade secret theft
A threat assessment on key actors targeting trade secrets
A five-step framework for companies to assess their trade secrets
Future scenarios of drivers making trade secrets more or less secure