Sharing trade secrets with a partner is often required as part of a strategic relationship. Whether it’s a co-development partner, a marketing partner, or a supply chain vendor, there is a good chance that trade secrets are involved.
Although a written agreement will govern the confidentiality of what is being shared, additional steps need to be taken to ensure that your trade secrets remain safe. If trade secrets are not clearly identified and tracked, courts may not recognize them as valid and refuse to provide their owners any protection.
Tangibly is where your patent process starts. As anyone who runs a patenting process understands, many inventions are better protected as trade secrets.
Further, those inventions selected to move forward as patent applications need to be treated as a trade secret until they are published 18 months later and are in the public domain. Trade secrets are not a “dead end exit” off of the patent highway, but are an increasingly attractive and valuable road to travel.
Tangibly helps take your know-how, or trade secrets, from an afterthought to a high value asset in your technology licenses.
For every patent asset, most companies have at least 10 and typically 100 great trade secrets. Once your trade secrets are structured and identified, they become easier to monetize. Imagine licensing three patents and fifty trade secrets, as compared to just three patents. Which license do you think will command a higher price?