CASE STUDY: TRADE SECRETS POLICY DEVELOPMENT

Client

A technology research and development company (the “Company”).

Background

The Company operates in a niche technology research and development market, with global clients in both the public and private sectors. The Company’s cutting-edge chemistry-focused technology has a wide range of applications across a variety of sectors including electronics, medtec, and filtration.

Assignment

In response to the suspected theft of a trade secret, the Company engaged Metis Partners to enhance its existing intellectual property (or “IP”) strategy by developing a bespoke Trade Secrets Policy. This would include a methodological approach for identifying, recording and storing all the Company’s trade secrets.

The assignment also included the creation of a Disclosure Sensitivity Awareness (or “DSA”) Flowchart, which would enable the Company’s technical and managerial staff to easily classify the sensitivity levels of all information produced by the Company.

Our Approach

Metis Partners liaised with key R&D staff and Company Management in order to collect all relevant information on the Company’s existing IP protection measures.

Metis Partners conducted an on-site workshop with the Company’s senior management team, to identify:

  • the Company’s existing trade secrets;

  • the areas of the business where trade secrets (and other sensitive intellectual property, such as organisational knowledge) are generated; and

  • any risks associated with the current protection measures.

The workshop helped us to assess the Company’s existing IP culture, and enabled us to present an outline of key responsibilities that are typically required of Trade Secrets Managers and Handlers.

Metis Partners delivered a bespoke Trade Secrets Policy, incorporating all of the specific issues identified during our off- and on-site information gathering process. The Trade Secrets Policy provided robust and explicit recommendations regarding the security measures and procedures that the Company should adopt, both within those areas of the Company where intellectual property plays a key part and as a whole.

The Metis Partners team also delivered a trade secrets presentation and workshop for Company staff to introduce them to the concept of trade secrets, their importance to the Company, and how the Company’s IP strategy would be modified by the newly-introduced trade secrets policies.

Metis Partners designed a DSA Flowchart which enables staff to identify the sensitivity level associated with any piece of information vesting in the Company, with guidance on how to treat it accordingly. Metis Partners created this DSA Flowchart bespoke to the Company’s structure and requirements and advised the Company on its integration.

 

The Outcome

  • Implemented a comprehensive Trade Secrets Policy, designed as a bespoke document for the Company

  • Conducted a Trade Secrets Session with the Company’s senior management team

  • Carried out a high-level on-site training session for Company employees

  • Established within the Company an infrastructure for protecting its Trade Secrets

  • Developed a bespoke and ergonomic DSA Flowchart for the Company, enabling members of staff at all levels to easily identify, classify and protect confidential information

  • Kick-started a thriving IP culture within the Company, ensuring that employees at all levels worked towards protecting all forms of the Company’s IP