Mesa / Phoenix Law Firm Attorney Addresses Arizona State Bar

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Scott F. Gibson, managing partner of Gibson Ferrin & Riggs, PLC discusses protecting intangible assets and trade secrets on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009.

Ten Fatal Mistakes that Business Owners Make (And How to Avoid Them)

Scott F. Gibson, managing partner of Mesa law firm Gibson Ferrin & Riggs, PLC, will address the Intellectual Property Section of the State Bar of Arizona on Monday, Oct. 19, 2009. Gibson has practiced business law for 23 years and teaches a course on Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He is the author of a popular business blog at and the e-book, "Ten Fatal Mistakes that Business Owners Make (And How to Avoid Them)."

Gibson, along with attorney Bruce Samuels of Lewis and Roca LLP, will speak on "Safeguarding and Litigating Trade Secrets and Restrictive Covenants" from noon to 1 p.m. at the State Bar of Arizona Daniel J. McAuliffe CLE Center, 4201 N. 24th St., Suite 240 in Phoenix; lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. The seminar will be webcast live from noon to 1 p.m. (MST) via the Internet.

The State Bar of Arizona is a nonprofit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 16,000 active attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public.

"Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets are critical to the success of virtually every modern business," says Gibson. "How you take care of those intangible assets will determine whether your business succeeds."

Gibson points to a recent study in The Economist that noted that intangible assets make up 75 percent or more of a company's value. "That number is likely higher for many small businesses, which often have very few assets other than their ideas, strategies and relationships," Gibson says.

"Successful businesses use various strategies to preserve and protect their intangible assets," he adds. "Most business owners have at least some familiarity with patents, trademarks and copyrights. These strategies protect intangible assets from outsiders. The greatest risk to intangible assets does not come from outsiders, however, but from employees, both current and former."

"If you want to protect your intangible assets, you must use strategies that protect your intangible assets from insiders," he cautions.

Gibson will discuss three key strategies to help businesses safeguard their trade secrets and other vitally important intangible assets. "Each of these - non-compete agreements, confidentiality agreements and trade secrets - provides a valuable method for protecting intangible assets, particularly when used in combination with the other strategies," he says.

The 60-minute presentation will also focus on the practical aspects of litigating trade secret and restrictive covenant cases.

To register to attend the event, go to To register for the webcast, go to The cost is $25 for section members for either presentation; $30 for non-section members at the in-person event or $39 for the webcast.

Gibson is available for a confidential and comprehensive business consultation; call 480-633-8100 to schedule an appointment. His e-book, "Ten Fatal Mistakes that Business Owners Make (And How to Avoid Them)," is available for free download at

The attorneys at Gibson Ferrin & Riggs, PLC concentrate their practice on serving individuals, families and small business owners with business-related issues, family law and estate planning. They can help identify and assess the interests that matter most to their clients and work to preserve, protect and promote them. For more information, visit their website at The firm's expertise in commercial litigation, business law, family law and estate law is recognized throughout the Phoenix / Mesa area.

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