Close X
Attorney Spotlight

How does Jordana Nelson's prior experience as a general counsel inform her work with firm clients? Read more>


Close X


Search our Experience

Experience Spotlight

The M&A Advisor Winner 2017The M&A Advisor announced the winners of the 16th Annual M&A Advisor Awards on Monday, November 13 at the 2017 M&A Advisor Awards. Bass, Berry & Sims was named a winner in the two categories related to the following deals:

M&A Deal of the Year (from $1B-$5B) – Acquisition of CLARCOR Inc. by Parker Hannifin Corporation

Corporate/Strategic Deal of the Year (over $1B) – Acquisition of BNC Bancorp by Pinnacle Financial Partners

Close X

Thought Leadership

Enter your search terms in the relevant box(es) below to search for specific Thought Leadership.
To see a recent listing of Thought Leadership, click the blue Search button below.

Thought Leadership Spotlight

Regulation A+

It seems that lately there has been a noticeable uptick in Regulation A+ activity, including several recent Reg A+ securities offerings where the stock now successfully trades on national exchanges. In light of this activity, we have published a set of FAQs about Regulation A+ securities offerings to help companies better understand this "mini-IPO" offering process, as well as pros and cons compared to a traditional underwritten IPO.

Read now

Brian Iverson Outlines Best Practices for Protecting Trade Secrets

Chief Executive


October 6, 2017

Brian Iverson | Bass, Berry & SimsBass, Berry & Sims attorney Brian Iverson provided insight in an article published on Chief Executive discussing the need and best practices for executives to protect trade secrets. Unfortunately, many companies are familiar with trade secrets but many don't do a good job of identifying and protecting their own assets. By consciously identifying and protecting trade secrets, companies can increase profits and shareholder value. 

"Trade secret laws protect information that: (1) derives independent economic value from not being generally known or readily ascertainable; and (2) is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy," explained Brian. With domestic losses from trade secret theft potentially topping $500 billion in 2016, U.S. companies can benefit significantly from proper protection. 

For companies to safeguard the value of trade secrets, they must first identify them. Traditional invention harvesting is typically used to identify patentable inventions, but in some situations, trade secret protection may be better. "While patents generally have a 20-year term, trade secrets can theoretically last forever," explained Brian. "Coca-Cola still benefits from trade secret protection in its formula more than 130 years after it was created."

Executives and management teams should also consider whether their competitive differentiators qualify for trade secret protection, although patent protection might be better if the trade secret information can be reverse engineered. "Of course, secrecy is the hallmark of a trade secret," said Brian. "To benefit from trade secret laws, companies should limit the number of employees and business partners who have access to the information, and require those that do to sign non-disclosure agreements." 

Identifying and protecting trade secrets aren't the last steps – proactive enforcement is also vital. "If an employee leaves to work for a competitor, monitor the competitor's activities for any indication that the former employee wrongly disclosed a trade secret," said Brian "Federal and state laws provide strong enforcement tools and remedies for misappropriation." 

The full article, "Using Trade Secret Protection to Build Shareholder Value," was published on Chief Executive on October 5, 2017, and is available online.

Related Professionals

Related Services


Visiting, or interacting with, this website does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Although we are always interested in hearing from visitors to our website, we cannot accept representation on a new matter from either existing clients or new clients until we know that we do not have a conflict of interest that would prevent us from doing so. Therefore, please do not send us any information about any new matter that may involve a potential legal representation until we have confirmed that a conflict of interest does not exist and we have expressly agreed in writing to the representation. Until there is such an agreement, we will not be deemed to have given you any advice, any information you send may not be deemed privileged and confidential, and we may be able to represent adverse parties.