Last February, I had the privilege of speaking at the State Bar of Texas’s Intellectual Property Law Workshop.  This year’s theme was IP Issues with Technology Startups, and my speech was Protecting your Startup Client’s Intellectual Property and Customer Relationships: The Intersection of Trade Secrets, Confidentiality Agreements, and Covenants Not to Compete.  As a springboard for my speech, I discussed the pilot episode of Silicon Valley, which, as others have pointed out, has all sort of intellectual property issues to explore. 
Continue Reading Tips for Protecting Your Startup’s Intellectual Property and Customer Relationships: Lessons from HBO’s Silicon Valley

A non-disclosure agreement is a contract that allows a trade secret owner to impose contractual liability for any disclosure or misappropriation of its trade secrets.  Non-disclosure agreements allow companies to disclose their trade secrets to new employees or to third-parties (like potential customers or investors) with less danger of destroying the secrecy of the trade secret.   A typical non-disclosure agreement requires the other party to keep trade secrets in the strictest confidence, prohibits the other party from disclosing the information without prior written consent, and warns the other party that it cannot make use of the trade secret for his or her personal benefit.  Here are five reasons why using non-disclosure agreements can benefit your company:
Continue Reading Five Reasons Your Company Should Use Non-Disclosure Agreements

In May 2016, the federal government enacted the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), which provides federal civil cause of action for trade secrets misappropriation.  It is similar to the state-based Uniform Trade Secret Act.  One important difference, though, is the DTSA’s notice provision for non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).  With the enactment of DTSA, all NDAs entered into or amended after May 11, 2016 are expected to provide notice of certain trade secret disclosure immunities to employees, contractors, or consultants. 
Continue Reading Time to Update Your Employee Non-Disclosure Agreements