What Constitutes a Trade Secret?

Brannon Sowers & Cracraft PC

Trade secrets are protected under a number of state, federal, and in some instances, international laws. They are a form of protection that exists largely as long as the information remains a secret.

Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines a trade secret as “something (as a formula) which has economic value to a business because it is not generally known or easily discoverable by observation and for which efforts have been made to maintain secrecy.”

In practice, a trade secret could be any information used in a business that may represent a competitive advantage. Trade secrets could be the use of a certain method of producing a good or a method of providing a service, such as a recipe or a computer algorithm. Trade secrets are treated in such a way as to reasonably keep the public or competition from learning about them, unless they are improperly acquired, such as by means…

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Stealing is Stealing! Copyright Law Isn’t Different in Social Media

SoLoMo Law

You may think that social media and the internet have changed copyright rules.  That whatever you find is something you can use.  Let me first say that nothing has changed.  While some may hail the January decision regarding use of photos on Twitter as new social media law, they are missing the point.  Existing laws apply, folks.  The judge didn’t change copyright law just for the internet.  Why Agence France-Press thought it was ok to lift somebody’s copyrighted work without any legwork on getting permission amazes me.

Second, you need to understand this space, because copyright is where you are going to have your biggest intellectual property fail in social.

NOTE: This is a reprint of an earlier post.  I think it useful to look back and revisit it, given my last two posts about managing the risks in social.  If you are looking for more foundational information on…

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Can we depend on law enforcement to protect us from cyber crime?


The Home Affairs Select Committee of the UK Houses of Parliament has reported that the UK faces a losing battle against cyber crime and (in particular) with low-level financial crime.

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Barrister Suspended Over ‘Predatory’ Slur at 13 Year Old Victim

Blog, But Blog Ethically


The following is a guest blog post by April E. Frisby of Frisby Law. April is a corporate and securities transactional lawyer and an adjunct law professor at Whittier Law School.

104229040Lawyers are often gun-shy when it comes to blogging, in part because of the ethical limits on advertising and solicitation by lawyers. But if you keep ethical considerations in mind, blogging can be a fun, cost-effective way to promote your practice.

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Twitter Trolls, Tribunal Online (Finally), Don’t go Home – The Human Rights Roundup

UK Human Rights Blog

TrollWelcome back to the UK Human Rights Roundup, your regular menagerie of human rights news and views. The full list of links can be found here. You can also find our table of human rights cases here and previous roundups here. Links compiled by Adam Wagner, post by Sarina Kidd.

This week, judicial review continued to take a beating, the Home Office backed down over their ‘Go Home’ campaign and the legal implications behind the twitter threat debacle were considered. And, finally, the immigration and asylum tribunal launched a useful online search service.

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Summer song lawsuit exposes the “Blurred Lines” of the US copyright system

Protecting Intellectual Property In The Cloud

How can I protect my software?

Make Your Mark

Software can be protected by patent, copyright and trade secret law.

Patent law provides the strongest protect for software as it can protect the ideas underlying the program.  Patents can protect operating system techniques, program language translation methods, program algorithms, editing functions and user-interface features provided such techniques, methods, functions and features are new, useful and non-obvious.

However, obtaining patent protection can be complicated and costly.  Further, patent protection is granted on a country-by-country basis.  Which means there is additional cost if your software needs to protected overseas.

Copyright law can be used to protect the source and object code of software as well as unique elements of the user interface.  Copyright registration is not necessary, although there are some benefits to registration (which is a simple and inexpensive process).

However, copyright law is limited in that it will not protect the ideas underlying the software.

Trade secret law protects…

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