Life sciences trade secrets: emerging trends


Anthony Fitzpatrick

Life sciences trade secrets: emerging trends

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With competition, employee mobility and chatbots all on the rise, protecting IP as trade secrets has never been more important for life sciences firms, says Anthony Fitzpatrick of Duane Morris.

Trade secrets have long been an important form of intellectual property in the life sciences industry. In recent years, the significance of trade secrets has grown as the industry has become increasingly competitive and workers in the field have been moving between companies with greater frequency.

Legal protection for trade secrets

In the US, trade secrets are protected under both state and federal law. At the state level, the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) applies in all but two states. At the federal level, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) was enacted in 2016 to provide a cause of action for trade secret misappropriation in federal court. Both the UTSA and the DTSA define broadly the types of information that can be protected as trade secrets. These laws include two important requirements, however. First, the owner must take reasonable measures to keep the information secret. Second, the information must derive economic value (actual or potential) from not being generally known, and not being readily ascertainable, by third parties.

trade secrets, life sciences, chatbots, AI