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ERIC Number: EJ1135366
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1545-679X
The Piranha Solution: Monitoring and Protection of Proprietary System Intangible Assets
Ladwig, Christine; Schwieger, Dana; Clayton, Donald
Information Systems Education Journal, v15 n2 p48-51 Mar 2017
The "Piranha Solution"® is a complex and valuable integrated chemical supply inventory management system protected as a trade secret by its asset holder, the Confluence Corporation. The "Piranha" program is the lifeblood of the corporation's growth and success in the chemical supply industry. A common definition of "trade secret" is "any information you don't want your competitors to have," and this statement couldn't be truer for the much sought after "Piranha Solution"®. The advantage of a trade secret is the potential to keep unique details of an invention a secret forever, as opposed to alternative protections such as a patent, which require public disclosure. But in order to retain assets as trade secrets, the holding company must take "reasonable steps" to insure the security and secrecy of undisclosed, unique details. These steps for Intellectual property security inevitably include a computer and information system component, especially when the asset is digital, as is the case with the "Piranha Solution"®. In this case, while Confluence Corporation appropriately focuses on, and continuously monitors for, external threats to the "Piranha Solution"®, internal threats that may compromise the system are largely ignored. Failure to take proper precautions to protect their assets, a not uncommon business scenario, will ultimately be disastrous for the company. How to identify and avoid missing these important issues, and what reasonable steps may be taken to protect corporate intangible assets, is the focus of this case study based on actual events known to the authors.
Information Systems and Computing Academic Professionals. Box 488, Wrightsville Beach, NC 28480. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A