How Hedge Funds Can Protect Their IP: Pepper Hamilton Attorneys Discuss Trade Secrets and Patents (Part Two of Two)

Hedge fund managers are often portrayed by the media as a secretive group. In recent years, this stereotype has been reinforced when managers have pursued civil litigation against – or assisted the DOJ in the criminal prosecution of – former employees that have allegedly stolen the managers’ “secret sauce.” See “Citadel Commences Action Against a Former Employee for Misappropriation of Confidential Information With the Intent to Aid a Competitor” (Sep. 8, 2011); and “Protecting Hedge Funds’ Trade Secrets: The Federal Government’s Enforcement of Criminal Laws Protecting Proprietary Trading Strategies” (Dec. 10, 2010). A panel of intellectual property (IP) attorneys at Pepper Hamilton’s recent symposium reviewed the protections available to investment managers to protect their IP. Moderated by Pepper Hamilton partner Gregory J. Nowak, the panel 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 their associates Lori E. Harrison and Joseph J. Holovachuk. This article, the second in a two-part series, explores the panelists’ insights with respect to trade secrets and patents in the investment management context. The first article discussed how investment managers can safeguard their brands through trademarks and protect their copyrightable materials. For more on trade secrets, see “Procedures for Hedge Fund Managers to Safeguard Trade Secrets From Rogue Employees” (Jul. 21, 2016); and “Eight Measures That Hedge Fund Managers Can Take to Mitigate the Risk of Theft of Their Trade Secrets” (May 24, 2012). 

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