Trade Secret Law – 5836
This course is an exploration of perhaps the least studied of the legal regimes protecting commercially valuable information, trade secret law. Patents and copyrights receive considerably more attention, at least as studied disciplines. But the importance of trade secrets and laws protecting them are no less important, and increasingly businesses are recognizing this reality. The focus of this course will be the ways trade secrets come to exist, how they are used, and how they can be protected, and the enforcement mechanisms used to achieve that protection. We will explore the sources of state-based trade secret law, the common law and statutes, and seek an understanding of relevant federal law and the interplay of state and federal law. Because a true understanding of trade secrets only can be obtained by understanding their relation to and differences from inventions covered by patents, we also will make sure to contrast these regimes throughout the course.