Last week I had the opportunity to receive a compelling demonstration of a Trade Secrets Management program called, “Hazel”, by Donal O’Connell, the Owner and Managing Director of Chawton Innovation Services Ltd, Chawton, United Kingdom.
WHAT IS HAZEL?
“Hazel” is a comprehensive and accessible trade secrets management tool that makes it possible to identify and track an entity’s IP and trade secrets.
This tool is suited for companies of all sizes, including IP intelligence and law firms working to advance the protection of a company’s IP.
WHAT IS THE HAZEL CONCEPT?
It would be impossible for me to effectively explain all the features provided on Hazel’s wide-ranging platform, however, it should suffice to say that Hazel is designed to provide a business with essentially a library-like catalog of their trade secrets.
This means that a company (at any given time) knows what trade secrets they have in their virtual or tangible inventory; can name it, retrieve it, knows its history, who created it, who’s responsible for it, who has access to it, whose borrowed it, and knows when its access has expired.
Essentially–after the trade secret has been identified, recorded and updated in the Hazel program–the trade secrets owner then knows its “status.”
WHAT? – WHY? – WHERE? – WHEN? – HOW? – WHO?
To wrap our heads around the capacity of this trade secrets management tool, it is useful to consider the assessment approach commonly used by members of law enforcement to grasp various dimensions of a particular issue and apply it to trade secrets management as follows:
- What – What is the trade secret?
- Why – Why is it a trade secret?
- Where – Where is the trade secret?
- When – When was the trade secret created?
- How – How is the trade secret being accounted for?
- Who – Who is responsible for the protection of the trade secret and who has access to it?
PROVENANCE OF THE TRADE SECRET
To coin a term traditionally used in the world of fine art, what Hazel makes possible (after the trade secrets metadata is recorded) is to bring-to-light the “provenance” (a.k.a. history) of the trade secret.
The Hazel platform is organized in a systematic and accessible manner. Each of the categories of the dashboard is clearly marked making it a
And, Hazel does not require extensive training in order to make effective use of its platform. As someone that has used the IBM i2 Analyst Notebook, the Hazel platform is comprehensive as well but doesn’t require a week of training to use.
I found that after receiving Mr. O’Connell’s demonstration, I would be able to jump right in and get to work with only an additional hour or two of orientation.
WHERE DOES A HAZEL USER START?
Mr. O’Connell explained that it is not unusual for a client to not know how to begin to identify their trade secrets. In this new world of accounting for trade secrets, this is not surprising.
To get oriented with the tool, Hazel provides a list of areas for the client to consider in identifying its trade secrets.
DOES HAZEL STORE THE TRADE SECRETS?
Hazel’s purpose is to help a business identify their trade secrets, account for its location within the company structure, and
WHAT IP HOLDERS SHOULD CONSIDER HAZEL?
During the demonstration, Mr. O’Connell explained that he has found there are three (3) categories of users driven to use the Hazel platform:
- Victims of trade secrets theft
- Entities concerned at becoming a victim; and
- Companies that are j
itteryabout the state of their trade secrets
NECESSITY OF A TRADE SECRETS MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
If you do not feel jittery enough about the risks of non-managed trade
Here are two quotes from Pooley’s article as it relates to managing trade secrets in the M&A environment:
“The problem appears to start with the fact that secret information, no matter how central to the success of the business, is mysterious. Unlike the “registered rights” of patent, copyright
Hazel makes it possible for businesses to know with certainty what their trade secrets are and how to maintain its control. It is no longer necessary for companies to suffer from terminal “vagueness” as to what their trade secrets are and its “real-time” status.
For more information about “Hazel” visit their website.
To learn more about Donal O’Connell, visit his LinkedIn page.
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A tool with a lot of potential.