3 Things You Must Learn From a Survey of 358 Trade Secret Cases
A recent survey of over 358 reported trade secret cases (from 1995-2009) has some great nuggets for every software or SAAS company looking to protect its SAAS trade secrets and software trade secrets (something you should be doing, by the way). Without going into the legal nitty gritty (which I know you want me to skip), here are 3 takeways (after I define ‘trade secret’).
Q: What is a Trade Secret?
A: Long story short, a trade secret is a business secret that gives you a competitive advantage by remaining secretive.
- The owner must prove that it took ‘reasonable measures’ to keep it a secret (if you do this then the law (by statute) will give you some great protection and legal remedies). Examples of trade secrets: source code, customer lists, business and strategy plans, and employee lists.
Ok, here is what you can learn from this.
1) WHO are the Most Common Misappropriators (i.e. people that take your trade secrets without your permission)?
- Business Partners
Together, they add up to 93% of the misappropriators. [see page 68 for more details] Yep, people you know and once trusted!! Think about that one. A really recent VentureBeat article shows that now the trend is that un-known parties are looking to steal your trade secrets.
2) What do They Usually TAKE?
- General business information (e.g., customer lists)[litigated 70%