Contract Plus Tort = Property: The Trade Secret Illustration

Matthew Edward Cavanaugh

Western State University College of Law

March 24, 2012

16 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 427 (2012)

This article commences with an introduction to the use of Hegel’s famous dialectical method as an arithmetic analysis of law. It reviews Hegel’s assertion that the sum of property and contract is tort and crime, and then suggests a better dialectic is that contract plus tort equals property. This article then reviews the doctrines of contract, tort, and property, focusing on the plaintiff’s rights and remedies, and who can be defendants in each of the three doctrines. The article next reviews the law of one particular type of intellectual property, trade secrets, because this article uses trade secrets as a good example of how contract and tort total to property. This article then culminates in an explanation of how trade secrets illustrate that property is the sum of contract and tort, because property rights, remedies, and defendants are the total of contract and tort rights, remedies, and defendants. This article gives illustrations of how the thesis explains certain oddities from property law other than intellectual property, and the article then concludes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: Hegel, dialectic, arithmetic, analysis, sum, property, tort, contract, rights, remedies, defendants, trade, secret, total, intellectual

JEL Classification: K40, K11, K12, K13, O34

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Date posted: October 28, 2011 ; Last revised: October 11, 2015

Suggested Citation

Cavanaugh, Matthew Edward, Contract Plus Tort = Property: The Trade Secret Illustration (March 24, 2012). 16 Marq. Intell. Prop. L. Rev. 427 (2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1949131

Contact Information

Matthew Edward Cavanaugh (Contact Author)
Western State University College of Law ( email )
1111 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3014
United States
714-459-1131 (Phone)
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