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Independent development

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Definitions Edit

General Edit

Independent discovery also known as independent invention is a defense to trade secret misappropriation claims, as well as copyright infringement claims.

Trade Secrets Edit

The protection accorded the trade secret holder is against the disclosure or unauthorized use of the trade secret by those to whom the secret has been confided under the express or implied restriction of nondisclosure or nonuse. The law also protects the holder of a trade secret against disclosure or use when the knowledge is gained, not by the owner's volition, but by some "improper means," . . . . A trade secret law, however, does not offer protection against discovery by fair and honest means, such as by independent invention.[1]


  1. Kewanee Oil Co. v. Bicron Corp., 416 U.S. 470, 475-76 (1974) (full-text).

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