Intellectual Property Law Reinforces Itself With New Trade Secrets Protection Law

The President and Congress have helped add another protective wall to the realm of Intellectual Property Law this week. The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 is a new federal law created to protect American companies and their trade secrets from corporate espionage and theft. Although trade secrets are protected by most individual state laws, they are not protected by federal law. According to the National Law Review, for the first time, the DTSA will create a federal civil cause of action for misappropriation of trade secrets. The law will hold a provision protecting individuals who disclose trade secret information to their attorneys.

Trade secrets are different in nature from its own Intellectual Property counterparts. Unlike patents, trademarks, and copyrights, trade secrets are registered in public databases. Trade secrets are unknown to the general public. Take for example Coca Cola’s secret formula, or Google’s security algorithms. Although they are known to exist, few know what they actually are and how they are made.

Trade secret protections guard the innovations and creativity of American firms in the United States, allowing for a fair and competitive market that the American economic system attempts to foster. They guarantee a competitive advantage over competitors and ensure a system where innovation is valued. With the rise of the global, digital economy, and the advent of the internet, trade secret threats are at an all time high.

According to Michelle K. Lee, former Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office, trade secret thefts cost U.S. innovators more than an estimated $300 billion in revenue annually. Cyber Espionage has misappropriated trade secrets across state and international borders, potentially undermining national security and weakening the U.S. economy. With the Defend Trade Secrets Act, businesses are now better protected with the support of the federal government.

The National Law Review recommends that all companies consider reviewing and revising their policies and contracts governing trade secrets applicable to employees, contractors, vendors, and service providers. This will ensure that all involved parties comply with DTSA standards.

Thanks to a joint effort by Congress and the President, the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 is now law. This is surely a win for American innovation and trade protection in the United States.

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What Is Corporate Law?

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Corporate Law refers to law that involves matters of corporate business, specifically, the merging of companies, rights of directors and shareholders, secretarial issues,  board meetings, and the public listing and delisting of companies and entities.

Clients range from government organizations, businesses of every size and caliber, privately owned companies, investment banks, as well as multinational corporations.

Corporate lawyers accumulate portfolios chock-full of M&As (mergers and acquisitions), restructuring of entities and companies of a corporate nature, and the termination of unprofitable ventures.

Additionally, corporate lawyers often help their clients get listed on stock exchanges across the globe, as well as, obtain financing from private equity players and venture capitalists.

To be a successful corporate lawyer, one must have extensive knowledge of business law, current issues and trends within the corporate law field, and familiarity with legislative and regulatory changes.

There are many facets of business law, but an extensive knowledge of all of these facets is beneficial for a lawyer, as well as for their clients. Businesses that are dealing with outside operations or crossing into other jurisdictions and looking to invest, a knowledge of multiple sectors of business law is paramount.

A corporate lawyer must also be a very sharp, innovative individual who has strong communication and negotiation skills. Without these attributes, they simply do not make a successful corporate lawyer.

Analytical skills and attention to detail also sets a corporate lawyer apart from the rest, while also being able to work in a team and call upon other resources when necessary is a strength of any thriving lawyer, regardless of their field of specialty.

Corporate law is a lucrative endeavor to pursue but should not be pursued without care and great consideration. It is an extremely competitive and intense field, especially when it comes to responsibility and work load hours.