Keeping Your Secrets Secret

New York State Bar Assoc. Journal, Vol. 87, No. 6. July/August 2015

4 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2015

Date Written: June 15, 2015


This article explains the importance of trade secrets and its connection with patents and the inevitable disclosure doctrine. The inevitable disclosure doctrine is a theory of relief used by employers to demonstrate that an injunction is necessary to prevent misappropriation of trade secrets by a former employee. A trade secret is any information that is useful and private.

One of the purposes of this article is to generate interest to develop a uniform standard of protecting trade secrets and to push the jurisprudential envelop outward.

The Uniform Trade Secret Act, Section 1(4) sets out what is protected as trade secrets. Misappropriation of trade secrets are governed by some form of the Uniform Trade Secret Act.(UTSA). Misappropriation means the acquisition of a trade secret of another person by improper means or disclosure without consent.

The leading case discussing the inevitable disclosure doctrine is the Illinois case of PepsoCo Inc. v. Redmond. However, the inevitable disclosure doctrine in its application differs widely among the 47 states that have adopted some application of the Act. Illinois, New York, California, Texas, Massachusetts and Michigan as set out in this article demonstrate the inconsistent application of the inevitable disclosure doctrine.

Keywords: Trade Secrets, Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine, Misappropriation, Patents

Suggested Citation

Johnson, James A., Keeping Your Secrets Secret (June 15, 2015). New York State Bar Assoc. Journal, Vol. 87, No. 6. July/August 2015, Available at SSRN:

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