'Social Media: A Danger To Company IP'

Author:Mr Brian Bialas
Profession:Foley Hoag LLP

Law360 has posted a useful article by Ben Quarmby about the dangers of employee use of social media to a company's patents, trade secrets, and copyrights. The big danger for trade secrets is disclosure. Trade secrets must remain secret if they are to be protected by the law, and "[o]nce the secret has been disclosed on a social media public platform, it is difficult to place it back under wraps." In fact, after an employee posts a trade secret online and the company finds out, "the information may have been displayed for days, and worse, may have been reposted by any number of users." By the time a company has tracked down and removed the posts, "the information may well have been in the public domain so long - and been exposed to many people - that it no longer qualifies as a trade secret."

To combat this problem, Quarmby suggests highlighting the dangers of social media to company trade secrets through employee manuals and training courses, monitoring employee activity on social...

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