Update on Trade Secret Law



Despite the widespread adoption of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, trade secret principles continue to develop primarily through the common law. It is this reliance on a few broadly stated rules, whether from the Uniform Act or from the Restatement (of Torts or, since 1995, of Unfair

Competition), that distinguishes trade secret law from the other three main forms of intellectual property, each of which is based on a federal statute. That reliance also reflects the policy tension, present in most trade secret cases, between the need to support investment in useful data and the need to respect an individual’s right to pursue his or her career. As the information age continues to unfold, we can expect the stream of case law to continue.

What follows is a sampler of developments during the last year, with cases reported through February 2008. The cases chosen are those which seem to provide useful clarification of issues likely to come up repeatedly in the intellectual property lawyer’s caseload.

(See full article for more).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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