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.

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.

Hearing: U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation: Status, Challenges, and Opportunities | U.S.-CHINA. The Senate Commission on US-China Economic and Energy Security Review held a hearing on Friday, April 25, 2014.

The hearing, “U.S.-China Clean Energy Cooperation: Status, Challenges And Opportunities,” although broadly scoped, focused on the US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC). Intellectual property figured prominently in the testimony of most witnesses.

Video of the entire hearing and links to bios and prepared testimony are here.

Witnesses:

Ms. Leocadia Zak, Director, USTDA;

Dr. Valerie Karplus, Project Director, China Energy and Climate Project, MIT;

Ms. Jane Nakano, Fellow, Energy and National Security Program, CSIS;

The Coal CERC was represented by Dr. Jerry Fletcher, West Virgina University; and

The Vehicles CERC was represented  by Professor Huei Peng, University of Michigan.

Ms. Sarah Forbes, World Resources Inc., where Sarah has been active in building US-China relations in clean energy, including partnerships supporting CERC; and

Professor Joanna Lewis, Georgetown University; whose research focuses on US-China S&T cooperation, specializing on innovative models and IP matters. She was the author of the summary reports of two joint workshops on IP, sponsored by DOE and organized by the CERC Secretariat.

UN Climate Change Report Assesses Options For Technology And IP Policy | Intellectual Property Watch. “The latest United Nations report on climate change offers advice for international and national intellectual property policies relating to climate change mitigation technology. Although strong IP rights may foster green technology development and transfer in developed countries, there is a lack of evidence to support IP strengthening in developing countries, it concludes.”

Excerpts from the US PTO Press Release, 14-11.

USPTO Creates New Office of International Patent Cooperation

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today announced the creation of a new Office of International Patent Cooperation (OIPC).

While the USPTO has been effective in carrying out its international mission through such programs as the Patent Prosecution Highway, the Global Patent Search Network, the Cooperative Patent Classification system, and the new Global Dossier Initiative, creation of the new office will enable USPTO to focus dedicated resources to better implement its international patent cooperation efforts. The main focus of the office, working in concert with the Office of Policy and International Affairs and the Office of the Chief Information Officer, is to provide optimized business process solutions to the international patent examination system for examiners and external stakeholders.

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

CREATe.org is offering a free IP Model Policy as “companies across China are seeking certification for IP Management after the March 1st 2013 launch of the Norms for Enterprise Intellectual Property Management.”

The voluntary national standard (numbered GB/T 29490-2013) is part of the Promotion Plan for the Implementation of the National IP Strategy in 2013.

The standard represents the government’s moves towards providing a national framework to help domestic companies improve their ability to better create, manage, protect and market IP.

On May 20, 2013, 20 “experts”were invited to the White House Lab-to-Market Inter-Agency Summit in Washington, D.C., organized by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. The goal was to have national experts outside of the federal agency system recommend ways to increase the return-on-investment for the $140 billion expenditures on federally-funded research and development. Tom Kalil, Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation, OSTP and Todd Park U.S. Chief Technology Officer, challenged panelists to offer inspirational and transformational, not incremental, ideas.

via Report on the White House Lab-to-Market Summit. Report at http://www.itif.org/publications/turning-page-reimagining-national-labs-21st-century-innovation-economy.

CREATe Leading Practices Pilot Update – Asia Insights | CREATe.org. Interesting research on the maturity of IP protection in Asia. The report looks at how companies consider and protect IP, rather than strictly looking at law and governmental aspects of IP protection. Valuable insights.

China’s Judiciary Publishes Its Views on Trade Secret Protection | China IPR – Intellectual Property Developments in China. Mark Cohen calls out an important book on how the Chinese courts address Trade Secret. Mark views this as required reading for those considering trade secret litigation.