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A88 - Trade Secret Practices Changing Due To First-To-File Legislation

Machine Design, Penton Publishing, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
April 10, 2014

Organic Innovation, Open Innovation, Intellectual Property, & CXO Corporate Metrics Practices, July 23, 2013, described primary research that GGI conducted in 2013. The results were announced March 13, 2014 in a Business Wire press release. Here we address a piece of what we found on the subject of Trade Secrets.

The emerging OI and IP marketplaces, corporate enablers to monetize soft assets, continued to grow. Scouting and innovation intermediary firms achieved 15% penetration. Joint innovation ventures are reported by more than a third of respondents.  These collective data indicate the ability to monetize IP is growing.

If registered IP is increasing in value, and the ability to monetize it can have no other outcome, it stands to reason that unregistered IP is also increasing in value.  And, the value of a company’s Trade Secrets increases at a rate that is related to the growth rate in the ability to monetize IP, and the growth rate in value.  Now there is a deep subject, and we will certainly leave that for another day.

So what happens in the next few years?  GGI research shows that over a third indicate they have formalized processes for monetizing IP already.  Three quarters indicate that the financial impact of IP is positive, none indicated negative.   Seventy percent indicate that IP will be more or much important in the next five years. It perhaps is too casual a way to describe the landscape ahead, but it appears that a critical mass of companies currently exists and the next third of industry is about to get on board.  This is reinforced by our findings on the emerging marketplace of Open Innovation.

It is no wonder why thirty percent are changing their Trade Secret practices, now that First-To-File has become law in the United States.  Why not focus on the seventy-percent that are not changing, the clear majority?  In our global world, foreign companies have been practicing First-To-File patent processes for years - and now do in the U.S. too.  Implied by our findings is that there is a great deal of change for companies that do not have global roots or have not yet achieved a certain size, small and medium businesses.  Certainly some of the big corporations replied they are tightening as well, wishing to protect their appreciating asset.

Trade Secret Practices Changing Due To First-To-File Legislation? [Machine Design - April 10, 2014], summarizes selected GGI research findings in the area of Trade Secrets; and offers nine steps that companies may take to further protect and secure their Trade Secret assets.

This article is an ongoing column in Penton Publishing's Machine Design magazine entitled "Goldense On R&D-Product Development."

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