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 Jobs can Entry-Level Lawyers Find in the Tech Industry?

The demand for lawyers is always present.

However the job market has been rough for entry-level lawyers in recent years.

The market for lawyers seems saturated in a lot of industries; that is, with the exception of tech. The tech industry is booming, and continues to showcase itself as an ever-growing industry on a global level.

With the inception of new technologies comes an array of legal issues and new regulations. In these burgeoning new tech industries, little precedent or common law exists for lawyers to pull from. Tech lawyers are therefore needed to navigate through the unchartered waters of these new fields.

If you’re considering getting your JD, consider a focus in tech law. So what kind of jobs in which tech fields are available? Check out some of these fields if you’re looking to jump into the legal tech world…

The tech world continues to compound on itself at an incredibly rapid pace. Sanjena Sathian of Ozy comments on the phenomenon, mentioning how the law simply can’t keep up with the inception of many of these new technologies. Because of this, lawyers and future attorneys dedicating themselves to the tech industry will surely be sought after by tech firms.

“Those who have a few areas down pat will be in high demand,” cited Sathian of Ozy.

For example, cases revolving around privacy issues within the realm of the internet will most certainly be significant.

Other fields such as employment law for contract-work platforms like Uber, TaskRabbit, and Instacart among others will bring about an array of legal issues as well. According to Eric Sherman of Fortune, “gig jobs” like these often seem too good to be true for a lot of contractors, especially when many of them are receiving neither workplace protections, nor minimum wage.

Youtube and various other streaming services must face a collection of copyright hurdles that music companies like Spotify are still struggling to deal with. “International Law” is already broad and complex, but becomes even more so online. Companies that distribute products and services across national lines in just the click of a mouse become global enterprises in seconds. U.S. courts have ruled with older international law standards, ruling that U.S. companies cannot possibly be held responsible for every different law in every different country, evident in the turn of the century case LICRA v. Yahoo.

In some cases, attorneys operating in the infant phases of a startup’s life could potentially receive major compensations for their early endeavors. In fact, an attorney may very well shape the way in which the new company is structured, and how bold its business model can be. For a successful startup, an in-house expert holds a great deal of weight within the company’s administration. However, startups can often be risky enterprises, so consider your options carefully before running into startup life and culture.

If you liked this post and would like to read more on legal tech news and information, check out my twitter @dpeinsipp for more. Thanks for reading!