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Trade Secret Identification and Maintenance

Every organization has people with good ideas, but few organizations do a good job of turning those ideas into money. One reason is a failure to get an idea reported from the employee to those who can implement it.

Inventions and other ideas for products and services, may be protected with patents, kept as trade secrets, or even published for defensive reasons. For an organization to make a decision about what the appropriate action is, it must have a system for early identification of the ideas, evaluation for patents, trade secrets, or some other action, and then implement that decision. For that to happen, employees need to have incentives not only to innovate, but also to disclose their innovation to their employer. Even if they have an obligation to do so, they may not get around to it without some incentive.

A program of incentives for employee innovation and disclosure, along with a system for evaluation, is important to any organization that wants to innovate, protect its intellectual property, defend itself against its competitors, and build value. This must be an ongoing process to avoid disclosure of valuable trade secrets or loss of patent rights, while still meeting marketing or publication schedules. Some companies have an “invention committee” or a “patent committee,” but few meet regularly or have the right decision makers on them. Also, just having a committee does not mean the committee will receive submissions from employees or that the ideas will be valuable.

Arnold & Saunders has the knowledge and experience to design and implement programs for generating inventions, trade secrets, and publications that are strategically linked to an organizations’ business goals. Ask us what we can do for your organization.

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