Trade Secrecy in Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory
Jeanne C. Fromer
New York University School of Law
THE LAW AND THEORY OF TRADE SECRECY: A HANDBOOK OF CONTEMPORARY RESEARCH, Rochelle C. Dreyfuss, Katherine J. Strandburg, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2011
Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1430463
Roald Dahl’s "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is well-known as a dark fantasy in which five children win a visit to a whimsical candy company. Less conspicuous is the legal issue of trade secrecy driving the novel’s plot. Secrecy is not indigenous to fictional representations of the candy industry, but is widespread throughout its real-world confectionary counterparts of today and yesteryear. An investigation of the need for secrecy in this commercial sphere raises fundamental questions about the role of legal protection for misappropriations of secrets when actual secrecy seems to be paramount and about the relationship between trade secrecy and patent law.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 12
Keywords: trade secrets, trade secrecy, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl, candy, chocolate, Hershey, Mars, patent law
JEL Classification: L2, L66, O31, O34, Z1
Date posted: July 7, 2009 ; Last revised: January 20, 2011
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