Trade Secrets and Patents: A Comprehensive Approach to Protecting Intellectual Property

Evaluating the Protection Options, Weighing the Benefits and Risks

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, February 16, 2017

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance for IP counsel in determining whether trade secret or patent protection is the optimal mode for inventions and technologies. The panel will outline best practices for counsel to consider in determining the optimal form of protection.


Patents and trade secrets provide two ways of protecting inventions and technology. The AIA changed the playing field and disclosure requirements. Those who commercially use an invention one year before the patent was filed now have a defense to infringement claims.

Also, there is a federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) that became effective on May 11, 2016.

Counsel must understand the pros and cons of each mode of protection to guide their clients in choosing between protecting inventions as a trade secret, filing for a patent, or utilizing a strategy of both trade secret and patent protection for an invention.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the choice between seeking patent or trade secret protection. The panel will discuss options in planning for protecting new inventions and technologies, considerations when determining which protection to seek, and opportunities for coexistence between patents and trade secrets invention. The panel will offer best practices for determining which form of protection works best.



  1. Impact of the DTSA on patents
  2. Impact of the AIA on trade secrets
  3. Inventions/technologies suitable for trade secret protection
  4. Benefits and risks of patent and trade secret protection
  5. Best practices
    1. Choosing between patent and trade secret protection
    2. Implications of the choice


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What impact will the DTSA have on patents?
  • What impact is the AIA having on trade secrets?
  • For what types of inventions is trade secret protection most suitable? Which inventions are more suitable for patents?
  • What factors should counsel consider when choosing between trade secrets and patents to protect IP?


Steven M. Cohen
Steven M. Cohen
Senior Intellectual Property Counsel
Open Text

Mr. Cohen concentrates his practice on patent prosecution and litigation, IP transactional work, copyright and...  |  Read More

Halligan, R. Mark
R. Mark Halligan


Mr. Halligan focuses his practice on IP litigation and complex commercial litigation. He has successfully represented...  |  Read More

Pejman F. Sharifi
Pejman F. Sharifi

Winston & Strawn

Mr. Sharifi concentrates his practice in transactional, counseling, litigation, and licensing matters. He prepares...  |  Read More

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