Pooley’s Corner: When Taking Trade Secrets Becomes a Crime
Senior CounselSilicon Valley
As lead counsel for Adobe Systems in the country’s first major software patent infringement case, he won a jury verdict that the National Law Journal chose as one of the year’s Top Defense Verdicts. His later $90 million technology copyright settlement for ESS Technology earned him California Lawyer magazine’s Lawyer of the Year award.
He was a driving force behind the recently adopted Defend Trade Secrets Act, which created a federal civil claim for misappropriation of a company’s know-how. The U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary invited Jim, as a recognized expert on trade secret law and litigation, to testify and provide drafting advice about the proposed legislation. His testimony is available here.
In addition to a successful career as a Silicon Valley trial lawyer, Jim has held leadership roles in several national organizations, including president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association and chairman of the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 2009, the White House appointed Jim Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization, an agency of the United Nations, where he served for five years as director of the international patent system.
Jim is a prolific author of books and guides for judges, lawyers and business professionals about both trade secrets and patents. He was one of four co-authors of the initial “Patent Case Management Judicial Guide,” a comprehensive reference for both judges and lawyers, published by the Federal Judicial Center. Also for the Federal Judicial Center he conceived and scripted a video about patents that has been shown to juries across the country.
In 2015, Jim authored "Secrets: Managing Information Assets in the Age of Cyberespionage," a clarion call for both lawyers and business executives about the increasing difficulty of handling corporate information in a hyperconnected world. In 1983, he published his first business book, "Trade Secrets." In 1997, he introduced his legal treatise by the same name, which has become part of the IP canon and a vital desk reference for practitioners.
Jim taught for many years as an adjunct professor of law. His most recent law review article is "The Myth of the Trade Secret Troll: Why the Defend Trade Secrets Act Improves the Protection of Commercial Information" (23 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 1045, 2016).