As reflected in the Ocean Tomo Intangible Asset Market Value study, intangible assets are now responsible for 90% of all business value, much of which is represented by registered Intellectual property (IP) – patents, trademarks and copyrights. Beyond these registered IP rights, other intangible assets would include trade secrets (which are sometimes called “know-how” or “confidential information”).
Trade secrets are competitively valuable information. They are important company assets because they provide a company with marketplace advantages. If the secrecy of those assets is not maintained correctly, then the company’s operations and performance will be compromised. In turn, such circumstances could have a significant, negative impact on the company’s sales, revenue, and employment/staffing levels.
Reductions in technology life cycles combined with the inherent uncertainties of patent prosecution have resulted in a greater emphasis on protecting innovation through secrecy. A trade secret is or emerges from an idea that results from innovation or creativity. Examples of the types of information that can be trade secrets include: software/code, hardware design, system or hardware architecture or configuration, techniques, protocols or algorithms for data acquisition, processing, correlation and analysis (such as statistical and behavioral/profiling analysis), operation protocols, past, present and future R&D projects, experimentation/testing/QA protocols and parameters, data collected from R&D or experimentation/testing/QA protocols, sales/marketing plans and pricing, customer and vendor (or supplier) information.)
Once developed, a trade secret can continue if its owner takes reasonable measures (or makes reasonable efforts) to maintain its secrecy. Reasonable measures are, of course, a legal requirement.
Importantly, a trade secret may still be misappropriated even if it is the subject of reasonable measures. So, a prudent trade secret owner’s goal should be reasonable measures that effectively mitigate the risk of trade secret misappropriation.
We will share further insights focused on trade secret misappropriation, management, and monetization strategy via the Ocean Tomo Insights blog. To explore this topic and how it could impact your business, please contact Greg Campanella at +1(415)946-2605 or email@example.com.
Gregory Campanella is responsible for leading the Management Services Group and is the Managing Director in the Valuation practice of Ocean Tomo, a part of J.S. Held. Mr. Campanella’s work has focused on valuations of intangible, intellectual property, and tangible assets for acquisitions and divestitures, bankruptcy and restructuring, the establishment of monetization strategies including licensing, mergers and joint venture/partnership formations, litigation support, and financial reporting and tax matters.
Mr. Campanella also has experience performing business enterprise, equity, and debt valuations. Industries in which he has experience include telecom, computer hardware and software, entertainment, semiconductors, life sciences/pharmaceuticals, wireless and wired communication, and e-commerce, among others.
Prior to Ocean Tomo, Mr. Campanella led cross-functional teams providing valuation, financial analysis, strategic consulting, and transaction advisory services to consumer products and technology companies in conjunction with intellectual property and enterprise acquisition, investments, and divestitures. Mr. Campanella is skilled in the creation of models to both evaluate the economics of alternative spin-out strategies and to establish the value of intellectual property to be contributed to a joint venture.
Mr. Campanella is a member of the Intellectual Property Owners). He is a graduate of the University of California with a BA in Economics; received is JD from Loyola University of Chicago School of Law and an MBA from the University of Southern California Graduate School of Business.