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Trade Secret Protection in a World of Publishers

by Editors on May 24, 2005

The advent of blogging is posing quite a challenge to companies that jealously guard their most important information as trade secrets.  Mark Rasch has authored an informative piece for IP Law & Business that points out some of the practical problems in protecting trade secrets once valuable information has been posted online:

if information is posted for a short period of time, a trade secret
owner can try to get a court order to remove the data. The limited time
that the information was online may be a factor in determining whether
the secret is truly public. For example, if during the course of
litigation, a filing containing a trade secret is inadvertently filed
without a protective order, the fact that the information was briefly
in the public domain does not necessarily destroy its trade secret
character. When Andrew Bunner posted the source code that enabled DVD
copy protection to be defeated, DVD manufacturers sought to enjoin the
posting under trade secret law. But such an injunction was essentially
moot because, as the California appellate court noted, "By the time
[the] lawsuit was filed hundreds of Web sites had posted the program,
enabling untold numbers of persons to download it and to use it." The
Bunner court concluded "that which is in the public domain cannot be
removed by action of the states under the guise of trade secret

Want to learn more? Read the rest of the article.

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