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Protecting Trade Secrets to be Focus of Jan. 8 Symposium

Monday, December 15, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office will hold a symposium Jan. 8, 2015, at its office in Alexandria, Va., on issues relevant to the protection of trade secrets. This event is part of the Obama administration’s strategy on mitigating the theft of U.S. trade secrets (see below), which also includes diplomatic efforts to protect trade secrets overseas, promoting voluntary best practices by private industry, enhancing domestic law enforcement operations and improving domestic legislation.

Under U.S. law, trade secrets comprise commercially valuable information not generally known or readily ascertainable to the public that is subject to reasonable measures to maintain confidentiality. However, the PTO states, increased mobility, globalization and the anonymous/pseudonymous nature of the Internet have resulted in new challenges to protecting trade secrets.

The symposium will therefore feature panel discussions on topics such as losses due to trade secret theft and challenges to protecting trade secrets, the intersection of patent and trade secret protection, trade secret issues in civil litigation, trade secret protection in foreign jurisdictions, and proposed responses to the threat of trade secret theft in the U.S. The PTO expects that experts from academia, the legislative and executive branches, the judiciary, private legal practice and industry will serve as panelists. There will also be opportunities for attendees to ask questions.

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