Secrets: Managing Information Assets in the Age of CyberEspionage

James Pooley started writing about trade secrets in the 1980s. Back then, the best way for a company to protect its data was to watch who went in and out the door. In the decades since, information security has been challenged by the Internet, an emerging culture of disclosure powered by social media, sophisticated hacking tools, global supply chains, and a drive toward “open innovation,” which calls for sharing vital information with suppliers, customers, and a variety of short-term “partners.”

In short, everything has changed. Information has become the global currency of the 21st century. Managing it is no longer the exclusive province of IT or security. Every operational and strategic part of the enterprise is now involved in this critical task. Whether you’re a leader or any professional who works with information, you must walk the fine line between being open enough to generate creative energy and being careful enough that most sensitive trade secrets stay secret.

Pooley realized anyone trying to make sense of this complex new world needs a plainspoken guide that puts the subject in context and helps them make smart decisions about intellectual property and all of the (often surprising) issues that connect to it. Thus, Secrets was born. Click here for an excerpt from this deeply compelling, readable, information-packed book.

2nd Edition Now Available: Unlock the Latest Strategies for Trade Secret Protection

The first edition of the Secrets was published in 2015. We're excited to announce the 2nd Edition of the Secrets was released in 2024 and is now available for purchase!

In the highly-anticipated second edition of his "must have" resource on trade secrets, James Pooley dispenses the latest insights on protecting information assets in our hyperconnected world. With substantive updates related to artificial intelligence, the trade war with China, the CoVID-19 pandemic, and the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, Pooley outlines strategies for modern businesses to protect and monetize their trade secrets amid a rapidly-changing globalized economy. Michael Malone, author of over 20 books on technology and business, writes the foreword for the second edition of SECRETS - a comprehensive guide for what managers and business owners can do to protect and exploit their competitive advantage, maintain productive business relationships, and avoid lawsuits.

Reviews & Testimonials

“Jim Pooley has spotted one of the great ironies of modern business: In an age of transparency and ‘open innovation,’ the value of secrets has skyrocketed. And so has their vulnerability. With a mix of vivid storytelling and practical advice, Jim explains the challenge and how to master it. A must-read for every innovator.”

—Stan McCoy, Former Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Intellectual Property and Innovation

“Incredibly interesting, educational, and enlightening! As an advocate of intellectual property, I have always believed in strong patents and trademarks. This brilliant book underscores the importance of protecting trade secrets, too. Pooley makes the reader feel every creak of the tightrope innovators must walk between trusting sensitive information with others yet also taking smart precautions against lawsuits, leaks, and outright theft.”

—Louis Foreman, Creator of Emmy Award-Winning PBS Series "Everyday Edisons," and author of "The Independent Inventor’s Handbook"

“Well written, clear, practical, and infused with many compelling examples, Secrets provides a reliable guide for the effective management of information assets in our age of highly mobile employees and rampant cyberespionage. The book is a dose of reality to those in denial about the real and pervasive dangers of the world we live in.”

—Federico Faggin, co-inventor of the microprocessor

“Secrets is succinct, readily accessible, and yet specific and comprehensive, combining law, litigation, client relations, and business realities—all from an expert who has lived trade secrecy law in all its complexities for decades. With patent protections in America shrinking steadily, more and more companies and their lawyers will have to turn to trade secrets, and this guide will illuminate the way for all.”

—Hon. Paul Michel, Chief Judge (Ret.), Federal Circuit Court of Appeals

“In the Information Age, ideas are our most valuable currency. Anyone who innovates needs a practical guide to protecting valuable business information. Here it is. Using clear language and an abundance of useful examples, Jim lays out how a company’s proprietary information can be protected in an era when everything and everyone is interconnected.”

—Peter Detkin, Founder, Intellectual Ventures; former Vice President, Intel

“Trade secrets are arguably the least understood form of intellectual property, but critically important to large corporations and entrepreneurs alike. In this book, James Pooley draws on his deep experience to provide both a highly readable but also very thoughtful introduction to this critically important area and the implications for business and public policy.”

—Josh Lerner, Professor, Harvard Business School; author of "The Architecture of Innovation: The Economics of Creative Organizations"

“A practical, informative must-read for anyone who cares about business success. Full of torn-from-the-headlines examples, as well as entertaining stories illuminating the history of trade secrets, espionage, and patents, it’s a compelling and entertaining read that also explains the legal and strategic underpinnings of trade secret management. Jim Pooley uses easy-to-understand laymen’s terms to enlighten the reader about how and why to both protect and exploit trade secrets for optimal advantage.”

—Naomi Fine, author of "Positively Confidential: 10 Proven Steps to Protecting Confidential Information, Private Data, and Intellectual Property in Today’s Interactive Business World"

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