Tech Transfer Central

Trade Secret or Patent Protection? Making the Right Choice for Your University’s Innovations

Format: On-Demand Video, DVD, or PDF Transcript
Originally presented: March 31, 2015

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Price: $197
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Recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings as well as the political push to combat patent trolls suggest that patent ownership in general is becoming more vulnerable. In the past term, the Supreme Court ruled against patent owners in five cases, overturning five of the six decisions it reviewed from the Federal Circuit. On top of that, it appears there will finally be a federal trade secret protection law passed this year, providing more clout to trade secrets as a viable IP strategy.

As a result of this confluence of factors, in certain categories and technologies — especially with software and other IP that cannot be reverse engineered — some attorneys and IP experts are advising universities to seriously consider using trade secrets to protect their IP.

Because patents and trade secrets provide two very different ways of protecting inventions and technology — both with benefits and drawbacks — a comprehensive understanding of the pros and cons of each mode of protection is paramount. That’s why Technology Transfer Tactics invited renowned patent attorney Peter J. Toren to lead this important webinar:

Trade Secret or Patent Protection?
Making the Best Choice for Your University’s Innovations

Join us for this 90-minute webinar as Mr. Toren presents options for the protection of university IP and opportunities for co-existence between patents and trade secrets. He will also discuss:

  • What is a trade secret?
    • Methods of protection
    • Challenges in the university environment
  • Patents v. Trade Secrets: Choosing which is best for you
    • Benefits and risks for each choice
    • Faculty issues
  • Factors to consider:
    • Enforcement
    • When others try to patent your trade secrets
    • Cost factors: obtaining a patent vs keeping your secret confidential
    • Exclusivity
    • Scope
    • University mission
  • Benefits and drawbacks of protecting a trade secret now and deciding to patent later
  • Will Congress finally enact a federal trade secret law?
    • Why does it matter?

Meet your expert presenter:

Peter J. TorenPeter J. Toren, Partner, Weisbrod, Matteis and Copley, PLLC. Mr. Toren has successfully represented clients for over 20 years in intellectual property and commercial litigation matters throughout the United States at both the trial and appellate levels. His practice has a strong focus on patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret cases as well as other complex commercial disputes. Mr. Toren regularly represents clients in negotiations concerning complex intellectual property licensing and technology transfer agreements.

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