Protecting trade secrets

Sale of a tech company with trade secrets

Our client was being sold and the purchaser wanted to secure ownership of the trade secrets. This included software coding which supported its product.

Recommending disclosures to protect the client

We reviewed the warranties required under the sale and purchase agreement. We further recommended disclosures relating to the trade secrets behind the software development process be made. The advantage of disclosure to the buyer before the sale is completed means that there cannot be a warranty claim brought by the buyer on defects disclosed.

Trade secrets under an investment round

Our client, a promising start-up in the waste recycling industry, required funding to secure the patent of a revolutionary technology process to recycle plastic.

Protecting intellectual property outcome achieved

Ensuring the intellectual property of the company was not leaked, we drafted confidentiality provisions to protect the trade secrets in the heads of terms and investment agreement to minimize the risk to our client. The stakes were high. The know how which was the core trade secret falling into the hands of a competitor would have caused the collapse of the company.

Trade secrets disclosed under the due diligence process

We acted for the shareholders of a well known professional services LLP. The sale was to a competitor and the rationale for the buyer was to secure a larger market share. As part of the due diligence process, our clients’ were asked to provide various documents.

Some of the documents contained trade secrets in the form of confidential information relating to a client list. The value of our clients’ business was essentially tied up in the client list. If that list was used by a competitor to gain an edge in the marketplace, our clients’ business would suffer. Prior to our clients providing any of the requested trade secret information we recommended that our client entered into heads of terms with the proposed buyer to document the transaction.

How we protected our clients’ sensitive information

We drafted the heads of terms which contained provisions protecting trade secrets and confidential information. This ensured that sensitive information could be provided to the proposed buyer.

Trade secrets under employment contracts

We helped a client who wanted to make sure that its employment documentation was up to the mark on protection of trade secrets and other confidential information. Our client was concerned about the employee’s access to trade secrets. Particularly trade secrets in the form of confidential data and information located in various devices which were difficult to track. These include devices such as smartphones, laptops and devices.

Success with updating employment contracts

We reviewed the employment documentation in place and managed the process of updating the employment contracts to reflect the requirements necessary to protect trade secrets under modern working practices.

    • Qualified since 1989, knowledgeable and approachable, John advises SMEs and their investors in a range of sectors. He has an established reputation in the technology, art and media industries.