In Entrepreneur's "Ask the Expert" column, Partner Peter Buckland shares his thoughts on "How to Keep Your Startup's Secrets Private." He touches upon patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets, and the importance of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).
"Ask the Expert" is a regular column that seeks to answer questions about everything from starting a business to growing one. This is the final in a series of three columns in which Buckland discusses legal topics on the minds of startups. Both previous articles "Figuring Out How to Divvy Up Startup Equity" and "Finding the Perfect Board of Directors for Your Startup" can also be found on Entrepreneur.com.
Buckland is the vice chair of WilmerHale's Corporate Practice and the co-chair of the firm's Emerging Company Practice Group. He is based in the firm's Palo Alto office and focuses his practice on the representation of companies, from startups to established corporations, with particular emphasis on software, Internet and digital media, devices, energy and clean technologies. Since joining the firm in 2005, Buckland has counseled numerous entrepreneurs and emerging companies throughout their lifecycle and has advised on complex corporate transactions, including venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings and buyouts.