Trade Secrets and Software: don’t give one up for the other
Published on August 5, 2016 by Sebastian Holst
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:
- An overview of the legal requirements to successfully protect their rights in a court of law (Winning a Theft of Trade Secrets Action – 5 minutes),
- A dual-pronged methodology that combines legal strategies with technical foresight to meet those requirements (Protecting Trade Secrets through Legal Strategy & Technical Foresight – 9 minutes), and
- Technology to effectively meet these regulatory obligations while also materially improving application and data security (Android Application Risk Management and Protection: Before, During, and After the Hack – 10 minutes).
For a general framework on how to manage application risk and value, see Application Risk Management in a nutshell – 8 minutes.