Trade Secrets and Software: don’t give one up for the other

The true value of trade secrets – as with any class of intellectual property – is directly proportional to the owner’s ability to enforce their rights through criminal and civil actions.

For the first time, under the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act, a company can pursue claims for trade secret theft in a US federal court and seek remedies such as a seizure order to recover stolen secrets plus get compensated for damages and potentially impose punitive fines as well (making trade secret theft protection on par with other forms of intellectual property infringement i.e., patent, copyright, and trademarks).

However, to take full advantage of these remedies, companies must identify trade secrets in advance and implement reasonable secrecy measures to protect them.

Applying these general rules to application development and operations requires a specialized legal strategy further buttressed by “technical foresight,” e.g. an enhanced DevOps process.

The following videos offer application stakeholders:

For a general framework on how to manage application risk and value, see Application Risk Management in a nutshell – 8 minutes.