FOCUS: Intellectual Property

Legacy Trade Secrets Protected

Our client is a family-owned manufacturer of industrial equipment, now being run by the family’s third generation. On a visit to the client’s site, GCT realized that although the client had patents on some of its technology, a significant proportion of its technology was based on trade secrets and not protected—and needed to be. However, some of the trade secrets had been developed by the first generation, others were developed over time, and still others were currently in development. GCT needed to identify all of the trade secrets that required safeguarding measures and create a protection plan.

GCT conducted a series of interviews with the engineers and industrial machinery designers, and also suggested that the client hold a contest for its plant personnel to identify trade secrets that might not have been readily ascertainable by management. As a result of this two-pronged approach, our client was able to identify at least 27 different trade secrets, and GCT developed a comprehensive trade secret protection program.

Our client successfully reorganized its plant’s public spaces to restrict a visitor’s access to the plant and the business office, began to utilize a series of non-disclosure agreements to be used with vendors, customers and others during the initial stages of potential relationships, and implemented a system to identify and document trade secrets and an ongoing process to ensure that future trade secrets are brought into the protection system.

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