Frequently Asked Questions

Tangibly SaaS

What is Tangibly?

Tangibly is a Trade Secret Identification and Management SaaS. Tangibly provides a simple, complete, web-based, encrypted, legally-enforceable Trade Secret solution. Tangibly helps keep your assets safe and legally protected with Access Management, Acknowledgment Workflows, E-learning, and Historical Tracking.

How does Tangibly store my data?

We are hosted on AWS and store sensitive documents fully encrypted on S3 buckets.  Please Contact us for additional information on our security protocols.

What if I don’t want to store my trade secrets on Tangibly’s servers?

We have a couple options for customer that want their trade secrets behind their own firewall. The first method is to simply create a link to your trade secrets, stored in a location of your choosing. In this case, Tangibly stores all of the meta-data, acknowledgment data and helps you drive required workflows. The second method is to run the Tangibly application on a customer’s AWS instance. This requires more set-up time and cost, but all of the assets and meta-data sits behind the customer’s firewall.

Is e-learning part of the Tangibly solution?

Yes, we have integrated micro-learning modules with simple, easy to understand content, complete with quizzes.  We also make it easy to train your partners and contractors so that you can impress upon them the importance of how they handle your trade secrets.

What types of companies use Tangibly?

Our customers range from deeptech start-ups to world class life sciences companies to multi-billion-dollar manufacturing companies.

Is Tangibly integrated with any other platforms?

We are currently integrated with Bamboo HR and OKTA.  We have a long list of integrations we will be building in 2024 and beyond.

Does Tangibly help me manage my NDAs?

Tangibly helps track NDAs relating to contractors and partners, helping you ensure they are executed and tracking the expiration date.  We are working on an end-to-end workflow to manage NDAs.  If you’re interested in being a beta user, please drop us a message.

Trade Secret Basics

What is a trade secret?

A trade secret is any confidential information that meets these three requirements: 1) it is not commonly known, 2) it has economic value, and 3) the owner has taken “reasonable measures” to protect it.

Can any data or information be considered a trade secret?

Yes, as long as it meets the three requirements mentioned above.

Is a trade secret considered intellectual property?

Yes, in fact for many companies it is their most important form of IP.

How is a trade secret different from a patent?

The scope of information protectable by trade secrets is much broader than by patents. Patents require public disclosure of the innovation and how it is made. In exchange a 20-year monopoly is granted to the owner. Trade secrets, on the other hand, never expire for so long as strict confidentiality is maintained.

How can I keep my Trade Secrets safe?

First and foremost, you need to have your trade secrets documented. Recent case law, including Mallet (Food technology) and irth Solutions (Software), highlight the perils of poor documentation.

We do not have patents or innovation in the company. Is Tangibly relevant for us?

Every company in the world has trade secrets, whether they know it or not! Trade secrets cut across the organization and are not limited to technology. Customer lists, pricing and margin data, and competitive intelligence reports are often the focus of trade secret litigations.

Can Tangibly help me determine what my trade secrets are?

As part of your onboarding process, we will indeed help you understand what are some of your most valuable trade secrets.

Trade Secret Laws & Litigation

What laws protect trade secrets in the US?

In the United States, trade secrets are protected under the federal law, Defend Trade Secret Act (DTSA) since 2016 and are also protected by state laws.  It is common for cases to be filed under DTSA and in a particular state.

How many trade secret cases are there in the US?

There were about 1,400 cases in the US last year between federal and state courts.

Are trade secret laws in other countries different?

Trade secret laws from country to country do not differ by much.  All of the major economies around the world define trade secrets using nearly the same language (economic value, not commonly known and kept confidential).  The EU passed a trade secret Directive in 2016 which sought to harmonize laws of member states.  By 2019, all of the EU member states had implemented new trade secret laws.

Can trade secrets be enforced in China?

Yes, in 2021 there were more than 4,000 cases in China, most of which are small dollar value cases around theft of customer information.  However, 2021 saw the largest purely domestic case to date, which resulted in damages of $25M.  Although China does not have stand-alone trade secret laws, trade secrets are covered under their anti-unfair competition laws, which were updated in 2019.  Similarly, Japan protects trade secrets under their anti-unfair competition laws, which were updated in 2018.

What are some of the biggest cases recently?

A few of the large high-profile cases include Appian v. Pegasystems Inc. which resulted in a $2B damages award in 2022, LG v. SK in 2022, which settled for $1.8B, and Syntel Sterling v. TriZetto GRP resulted in $854M award in 2020.

Can AI create trade secrets?

Recent case law in US and Europe is clarifying that AI cannot be an inventor of a patent or creator of a copyright (without meaningful human contribution), but there is no similar requirement for a human creator in trade secrets. This means that trade secret protection is available for trade secrets, a huge benefit.