business law and conflict with trade secrets Research proposal Introduction and Background Trade secrets are another form of propriety rights, apart from patents, trade marks and copy rights that need protection, through a legislative regulation. However, trade secrets are mostly covered under the state laws, while patens and trademarks/copyrights are protected under different federal statutory schemes. In United States almost every state has some form of business law that deals with the protection of trade secrets. For example, North Carolina’s “Trade Secrets Protection Act” is established under N. C. General Statues, Chapter 66, Section 152.
This act envisages the protection of different types of information, broadly categorized as “Trade Secrets”. These include formulas, diagrams, software and other programs, pattern, devices, processes and methods/techniques, among other such classified information. In addition, marketing plans, negotiated prices settled in a contract and customer lists are covered as trade secrets under the provision of this law. As laws dealing with patents, copy rights and trademarks can not cover and protect such type of information; therefore there is a dire necessity of business laws that can protect trade secrets. However, the manufacturer, trader or any business enterprise needs taking sufficient measures to maintain secrecy of their trade secrets and by doing so, the protection can last for-ever.
In addition, any information which can be available using independent means cannot be covered under trade secrets. Accordingly, information believed to be trade secret should be identified and business contacts as well as employees informed about the propriety nature of such secret. (Hutchison & Mason, PLLC) Thesis statement/research question While national and provincial laws of every country have provisions to protect the trade secrets, it is imperative to evaluate the effectiveness of same.
Therefore, the research paper would discuss the following question “How effective are business laws to protect trade secrets? ” The hypothesis of the paper would stress on the fact that the holder of information, classified as trade secret, shall be responsible for maintaining the propriety of such information, in every possible manner. Study design The research paper would include literature review based on qualitative research methodology. The paper would include important aspects of the research study. Some of these are briefly detailed below: Defining Trade Secret To qualify for protection under the law, the relevant trade secret information should have considerable economic value, while the same should not be easily accessible to others in general and competitors, in particular.
The factors that are considered for labeling any information as trade secret include the level up to which the concerned information is known to others and business employees/contacts, commercial value of information, measures taken to safeguard its secrecy and the amount of efforts taken in development of such information. Courts apply relevance to these factors, while deciding individual cases of trade secrets protection, although UTSA is the primary authority for the law of trade secrets. (What is A Trade Secret ) Law on Trade Secrets While there are several federal and state laws that protect trade secret information, section 757 of the Restatement of Torts provide clear identification of liability for using other’s trade secretes.
Accordingly the party, which violates such trade secret law will be liable to pay other party damages, incase it is established that the information was obtained using improper means. In addition, the theft of business data, from computer or otherwise, would be deemed as theft of trade secrets, which would also include theft of confidential business data through industrial espionage. (Jentz & Miller, ” Fundamentals of Business Law) Apart from the above, the research paper would include studies on other aspects of the business laws, which are meant to protect trade secrets.
The literature review will have detailed relevant bibliography and reference page. WORKS-CITED Hutchison & Mason, PLLC, “Trade Secrets”, accessed on 2nd Nov 2010 from: http: //www. zeromillion. com/entrepreneurship/trade-secrets. html . Jentz A. G. & Miller L. R., ” Fundamentals of Business Law, Book, accessed on 2nd Nov 2010 from: http: //books. google. co. in/books? id=mgruQIq3wQ4C&pg=PA122&lpg=PA122&dq=%22Business+law+and+conflict+with+trade+secrets%22&source=bl&ots=UB7dQjIbjh&sig=e0JPPAQF3s0rANjFhNvCf_wzXOk&hl=en&ei=KdvQTOnzNJHyvQPYjqyaDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCMQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false “What is A Trade Secret”, accessed on 2nd Nov 2010 from: http: //www. duvalbusinesslaw. com/CM/BusinessStart-upsPurchasesandSales/What-Is-Trade-Secret. asp