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Articles

Inventors Rejoice: Protecting ideas using trade secret law rather than the patent system

July 8, 2014

Articles

Inventors Rejoice: Protecting ideas using trade secret law rather than the patent system

July 8, 2014

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How many times have you heard this story before (as for us, too many times)—John Doe Inventor conceives of a great idea, but decides for many reasons not to apply for a patent. He approaches ABC Company and offers to allow ABC to commercialize the idea. The inventor discloses the idea to ABC under a nondisclosure agreement, but nothing more happens, and the parties go their separate ways. A year later, however, the inventor hears about ABC Company’s efforts to sell a product that appears to contain his idea. Lacking a patent, one might think the inventor is out of luck in terms of seeking compensation for the use of his idea. But, a recent California Court of Appeals decision suggests otherwise. —Read more on Fish’s Litigation Blog

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