Trade Secret Expert James Pooley Named to IP Hall of Fame

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Silicon Valley litigator and IP strategist James Pooley has been named to the IP Hall of Fame, joining a legacy of distinguished past and current thought leaders in global intellectual property.

James Pooley

James Pooley

“It is an honor to be recognized by my peers and to be associated with some of the world’s leading minds in IP.”

Silicon Valley litigator and IP strategist James Pooley has been named to the IP Hall of Fame, joining a legacy of distinguished past and current thought leaders in global intellectual property.

Mr. Pooley, former Deputy Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), former president of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), and current Chairman of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, is a renowned author and lawyer who has put trade secrets on the map.

“I am thrilled and grateful to receive this recognition from such esteemed colleagues,” Mr. Pooley said. “During our lifetimes, intellectual property has become the backbone of the globalized, digitized economy. We are all privileged to serve as professionals in a field that supports the creativity and genius of so many people and that delivers so much benefit to the world at large. I hope that my induction into the IP Hall of Fame can bring more awareness to trade secrets as a driver of innovation.”

Mr. Pooley has worked on legislation in the U.S. Congress that would create a federal mechanism for civil claims to stop misappropriation of trade secrets, now available only through a patchwork of state laws.

“The Senate recently passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act, and Jim Pooley was instrumental in that effort,” Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said. “He’s served as a tremendous resource and is deserving of this great honor.”

Also honored this year are Lulin Gao, China’s first commissioner of the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO), and Margot Fröhlinger of the European Patent Office, a key contributor to the creation of Europe’s Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent.

“I am particularly pleased to be presented with this honor at the same time as two very good friends, Dr. Gao and Dr. Fröhlinger,” said Mr. Pooley. “Dr. Gao established the foundation for SIPO to become the world’s largest patent office, and Dr. Fröhlinger is a primary architect of Europe’s future patent system. Their influence on the modern international patent framework has been incomparable.”

The IP Hall of Fame was established in 2006 to honor the achievements of men and women who have made an outstanding contribution to the development of today’s IP system and its role as an enhancer of lives across the world. Inductees are chosen each year by the IP Hall of Fame Academy from nominations sent in by members of the global IP community.

Mr. Pooley tried his first trade secrets misappropriation case two years out of Columbia University Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.

As a writer and practitioner, Mr. Pooley has contributed greatly to the development of trade secrets law and practice.

He wrote his first business book, “Trade Secrets,” in 1982. 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.

His latest book, “Secrets: Managing Information Assets in the Age of Cyberespionage” (Verus Press, 2015), written with the needs of executives and business professionals in mind, has garnered widespread acclaim for its insightful and practical treatment of the manager’s dilemma of keeping corporate information private in a hyper-connected world.

Said Mr. Pooley, “It is an honor to be recognized by my peers and to be associated with some of the world’s leading minds in IP.”

Background on the IP Hall of Fame:

The first inductees of the IP Hall of Fame included two U.S. presidents, a Japanese prime minister and one of France's greatest authors. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were honored for their insistence that IP rights be specifically safeguarded by the U.S. Constitution, while Korekiyo Takahashi was recognized as the founding father of Japan's patent system. Victor Hugo was nominated as a prime mover behind the creation of the Berne Convention on Copyright, which to this day helps safeguard the rights of authors and other copyright owners in over 150 countries.

Other early inductees included the great American inventor Thomas Edison and Sir Edward Coke, a 17th century English courtier who played a pivotal role in the foundation of modern patent rights.

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