Protecting Your Business in the Innovation Economy

By Zeb Anderson, Francisco J. Benzoni and Lauren Bradley

The recent 12th Annual State of the Research Triangle Region event highlighted the innovation economy in North Carolina and particularly the Research Triangle area as a “smart region.” Particular illustrations included:

  • Nearly half of the region’s adults are college-educated, well above the national average of 38%. Scores of smart people already call the region home, but it is continuing to attract smart people, with 34,000 people a year moving in.
  • The Department of Transportation has implemented an intelligent transportation system to aid motorists navigating the network of highways and interstates, facilitating movement across North Carolina.
  • Innovations from North Carolina State University researchers cut water usage in half for the 2014 U.S. Open held at Pinehurst. The 2014 U.S. Open had a $238 million economic impact.[1]

What does this mean for businesses? Innovation, driven by talented people and technology, is the key to success in this economy. For one business, strategic use of patents and licensing of intellectual property may be the best way to cultivate and continue its success. For another business, careful protection of trade secrets and non-competition agreements provide a better path to press innovation. No two businesses in the Research Triangle are exactly alike, and there is no “one size fits all” approach to protecting your business and promoting innovation. In all cases, however, businesses, regardless of size or state of development, need to be thoughtful and strategic when undertaking steps to protect their valuable information, relationships, and property. Contact your Smith Anderson lawyer to discuss how you can safeguard your business. 

[1] Source: Smart Region Elements Tee Up Research Triangle Region for Next Competitive Frontier, Business Leaders Report,


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