In DB Riley, Inc. v. AB Engineering Corp., in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts (977 F. Supp. 84 (D. Mass. 1997) ], stated on September 18, 1997 that the case concerned the defendant`s allegation that the defendant had improperly acquired the applicant`s trade secrets and, despite contractual agreements prohibiting disclosure by any means that existed between them prior to the action, the defendant used the trade secrets to gain a “competitive advantage”. Despite this finding, the Tribunal ruled in favour of the defendant and stated that it was the applicant`s fault that it was not in a position to take appropriate steps to preserve confidentiality. Since the applicant`s confidentiality agreement was only valid for a limited period of time (in this case for a period of 10 years), the applicant was unable to assert “perpetual vigilance” over the company`s business secrets. Thus, because of the expiry clause in the confidentiality agreement, the Tribunal did not refer an injunction to the applicant for not serving the merits of his appeal. In this case, it is clear the impact that some (contemporary) ANNs can have on business practices and it is clear that it is important for companies to exercise their power to enter into eternal/indeterminate agreements. In addition to providing such a definition in your legal agreement, you should develop a practice to clearly identify the information you disclose as “confidential” or “trade secret” to avoid confusion. All you have to do is reveal secrets when you file your patent application, but not while the patent is in effect.
Once your patent application has been approved, you can develop other proprietary objects based on your invention without disclosing them, and you can keep them as trade secrets. However, in certain circumstances, a patent may well be associated with a trade secret. If you have an invention that can be easily undone or copied, a patent can buy you some time about your competitors while you work on developing something that really deserves to be protected as a business secret. Where the NDA provides a time limit for its obligation of confidentiality, the expiry of this period may jeopardize the trade secrets covered by the NDA.