All posts by Jennifer A. Kearns

“Confidential” vs. “Trade Secret” – A Non-Binary Dilemma

Virtually all life sciences companies use routine protocols which they believe will protect their intellectual property and other confidential or “trade secret” information.  Among these routine proactive protocols are having a standard confidentiality/nondisclosure agreement (sometimes referred to below as “NDA”), limiting access to confidential and trade secret information, periodic internal audits of safeguarding methods, and more.    But are “trade secrets” the same as “confidential information?”  Continue reading “Confidential” vs. “Trade Secret” – A Non-Binary Dilemma

COMMINGLED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY–LIKE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY?

By Jennifer A. Kearns, John M. Neclerio and Vicki G. Norton

Who doesn’t like the favorite sandwich of childhood – peanut butter and jelly? The two substances blend and meld together, creating a delectable gooey, messy, sticky and sweet treat.

In the life sciences, commingled intellectual property can also create “gooey,” messy and sticky problems for companies. Unfortunately, there’s nothing sweet about commingled IP and the complications that can arise from it, and you can be sure that an experience arising from claims of commingled IP will leave a sour taste in your mouth.  Here we discuss proactive or preventative steps that companies can take to reduce the risk of commingling IP.

Continue reading COMMINGLED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY–LIKE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY?

Clean Room Lessons from Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie & Fitch. “A&F.” As a not-infrequent visitor to shopping malls, this blogger is familiar with the brand. It’s nearly impossible to avoid the A&F “brand.” Until recently, A&F stores were infused with a cloying cologne scent, puffed into the ambient air. One couldn’t walk past an A&F store without inhaling a snootful. A&F was also in the news when its CEO declared that the brand’s products were only suitable for “good-looking, cool kids” and suggesting that overweight persons did not belong in A&F clothes. Over the years, A&F has made headlines for its provocative marketing campaigns and products (e.g., a t shirt reading, “it’s all relative in West Virginia”). If the longevity of a company is judged in part by its remaining “relevant,” one has to acknowledge that A&F has managed to consistently stay in the public’s consciousness.

So, how is any of this relevant to life sciences companies, whose work forces tend to be highly educated and unconcerned with measuring up on the A&F “cool kids” meter. Well, A&F has been in the news recently, and in a big way that does have relevance for employers everywhere. I’m talking about the hijab case. Continue reading Clean Room Lessons from Abercrombie & Fitch