Trade Secrets: Jim Astrachan Comments on Protecting American Intellectual Property Act

Jim Astrachan was tapped for his take on the Protecting American Intellectual Property Act in a news article on Technical.ly. 

Here’s an excerpt:

Intellectual property lawyer James Astrachan of downtown Baltimore’s Goodell, DeVries, Leech & Dann sees a mix of positives and major concerns with the new bill. He specifically cited the bill’s seemingly incomplete definition of what it purports to protect.

“I’m looking at the bill, and I don’t see that the bill even defines the term ‘trade secrets,’” said Astrachan, who is also an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law. “That throws up in the air a lot of discretion to whoever is compiling this list of offenders for the president.”

Astrachan also believes companies are likely to report theft unless the act of doing so results in losing control of that trade secret. To that end, he is actually getting ready to file a trade secret action for a client.

“We’ll be very vague in our complaint in terms of identifying [the trade secret],” he explained.  “We’ll try to work out some sort of protection so that it’s going to be under seal. Nobody can read it in the court records.”

He also noted how the terms “knowingly,” “secretly,” and “theft” remained undefined in the act, which could be problematic.

“You wonder whether in operation, this bill has been so watered down that the teeth are, ‘I’ll bite if I want to bite,’ he said.

Read the full article here: A new law aims to protect US IP from international theft. Here’s what that means for founders

 

The Protecting American Intellectual Property Act

By Jim Astrachan and Kaitlin Corey

The bipartisan Protecting American Intellectual Property Act was passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and sent on to President Biden for signature. Although the bill proclaims to protect intellectual property, its aim is the protection of trade secrets. Maybe. And likely there is a real back story to why this piece of legislative sausage came out of the sausage stuffer the way it did. Continue reading

Jim Astrachan Receives The Daily Record’s 2022 Icon Honors Award

Jim Astrachan - Intellectual Property Lawyer

Congratulations to our partner Jim Astrachan on being selected by The Daily Record as a 2022 Icon Honors recipient.

The Icon Honors recognizes Maryland business leaders over the age of 60 for their notable success and demonstration of strong leadership within and outside their fields. The honorees have moved their businesses and the state of Maryland forward by growing jobs and making a difference in the community.

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Podcast Interview: Kaitlin Corey Talks to Harford County Chamber Chat

Kaitlin Corey spoke with “Harford County Chamber Chat” a podcast hosted by the Harford County (MD) Chamber of Commerce on WHGM Gold. In the December 3, 2022 episode, Kaitlin discussed her intellectual property and business law practice at Goodell DeVries, the many services provided by the firm, and the value of Chamber membership. You can find the interview here or on your iHeart Radio app.

The Anatomy of a Trademark Case

This article originally appeared in the Association of Corporate Counsel: Baltimore’s Focus magazine (3Q2022, p. 7-9). Written by Jim Astrachan, Kaitlin Corey, and Donna Thomas.

A trademark infringement suit awarding Variety Stores $95 million dollars against Walmart is instructive as to what the courts in the Fourth Circuit require to establish trademark infringement and willful trademark infringement. Variety Stores, Inc. v. Walmart Inc., 852 Fed. Appx. 711 (4th Cir. 2021) (unpublished).

While the large monetary award has been resolved behind the scenes through a confidential settlement following Walmart’s successful appeal relating to the trial court’s jury instructions concerning whether Walmart acted willfully, the magnitude of the award and the Court’s explanation of what is required to establish trademark infringement are worthy of discussion. This is especially important for those who are called upon to advise their client about whether a trademark is clear and available for use. The analysis for clearing a trademark for use is similar to the analysis that applies to determining whether a client will succeed if it sues on the grounds of trademark infringement.

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Kaitlin Corey Named in The Daily Record’s Leading Women Under 40

Congratulations to our partner Kaitlin Corey on being named among The Daily Record’s Leading Women Under 40 for 2022.

The Daily Record’s Leading Women awards honor women who are 40 years of age or younger for the accomplishments they have made so far in their careers. Winners were selected for the honor based on their professional experience, community involvement, and commitment to inspiring change.

 

Kaitlin Corey named to 2022 Leading Women Under 40A partner at Goodell DeVries, Kaitlin Corey represents a wide range of clients in intellectual property law and litigation and tax law. Her practice spans everything from trademark litigation to multi-million dollar business transactions and tax controversy work. She speaks regularly on copyright and trademark law and is an adjunct professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she co-teaches Trademarks and Unfair Competition Law with Jim Astrachan. She is immediate Past Chair of the Intellectual Property Section of the Maryland State Bar Association.

Kaitlin also serves as General Counsel for the Annapolis Police Foundation and as a Dean of the Lawyers’ Campaign for CollegeBound.