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Trade secrets and innovation

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Overview Edit

Trade secrets play a role in U.S. innovation policy. Trade secrets may establish incentives to innovate because they provide a mechanism for firms to capture the benefits of their inventions.[1] Yet trade secrets also have proven controversial because they suppress, rather than disclose, particular innovations to the public.[2] They also may have a significant impact upon the mobility of highly trained employees between firms.[3] Further, because innovators often face a mutually exclusive choice between patenting their inventions or maintaining them as trade secrets,[4] alterations to one of these regimes may alter the perceived attractiveness of the other.[5]

References Edit

  1. See Michael Risch, "Trade Secret Law and Information Development Incentives" (full-text), in The Law and Theory of Trade Secrecy: A Handbook of Contemporary Research (Rochelle C. Dreyfuss & Katherine J. Strandburg eds. 2010).
  2. See Michael P. Simpson, "The Future of Innovation: Trade Secrets, Property Rights, and Protectionism — An Age-Old Tale," 70 Brooklyn L. Rev. 1121 (2005).
  3. See Charles Tait Graves, "Trade Secrets as Property: Theory and Consequences," 15 J. of Intell. Prop. L. 39 (2007).
  4. See Daniel C. Munson, "The Patent-Trade Secret Decision: An Industrial Perspective," 78 J. of the Pat. & TM Off. Soc'y 689 (1996).
  5. See Douglas Lichtman, "How the Law Responds to Self-Help," 1 J. of L., Econs. & Pol'y 215 (Winter 2005) (observing that trade secret law acts "as both a complement to and competitor for patent law.").

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