Trade Secret Protection and ELNs

A good ELN can protect a company’s Intellectual Property in a variety of ways aside from the traditional role of creating and preserving evidence to be used in a Patent action.

I don’t know the details of the specific case but this recent legal case where an employee stole trade secrets before leaving for a competitor brings up another way.

Specifically, if they had been using PatentSafe:

  • Every read of a document would have been logged
  • The Custodian’s Console would have alerted management to unusual activity
  • Users would know they were accountable for the company’s secrets

The last of those is most important. If people know they are accountable this would never have happened at all – the scientist wouldn’t have been tempted, the company wouldn’t have had to prosecute, lots of money would have been saved and a prison sentence avoided.