An adviser’s name and proprietary trading methods can be among its most valuable assets. A panel of intellectual property (IP) attorneys at Pepper Hamilton’s recent symposium offered a thorough overview of the fundamental elements of trademark, copyright, trade secret and patent law, as well as practical examples of how IP law intersects with fund management. The panel was moderated by Pepper Hamilton partner Gregory J. Nowak and featured Evan H. Katz, a managing director of alternative asset investment firm Crawford Ventures, Inc.; Pepper Hamilton partners Michael K. Jones and Peter T. Wakiyama; and associates Lori E. Harrison and Joseph J. Holovachuk. This article, the first in a two-part series, discusses how investment managers can safeguard their brands through trademarks and protect their copyrightable materials. The second article
will explore the panelists’ insights with respect to trade secrets and patents in the investment management context. For more on IP protection, see “Trending Issues in Employment Law for Private Fund Managers: Non-Compete Agreements, Intellectual Property, Whistleblowers and Cybersecurity
” (Nov. 17, 2016). For additional insight from Pepper Hamilton, see “Marketing and Reporting Considerations for Emerging Hedge Fund Managers
” (Jun. 16, 2016). For more from Nowak, see “Tax Proposals and Tax Reforms May Affect Rates and Impose Liabilities on Hedge Fund Managers
” (Apr. 16, 2015).