Trade Secrets - the New Risks to Trade Secrets Posed by Computerization

46 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2005


The increasing reliance on modern technology has resulted in intellectual property comprising a substantial portion of the business assets of modern commercial enterprises. As a result, enterprises are increasingly utilizing intellectual property laws to protect the value of their intellectual property. Correspondingly, the domain of intellectual property law has expanded to cover more types of intellectual assets. This protection increases the economic value of such assets. Nevertheless, the modern development of technology has adversely affected the value of some intellectual property. For example, the widespread availability of the Internet, coupled with its global reach, allows rapid and inexpensive dissemination of data. As a result, intellectual property that can be converted into digital data can be distributed almost immediately, via the Internet, to literally millions of individuals for negligible cost. This rapid dissemination reduces the ability to control access to intellectual property, which negatively affects its economic value. This article will specifically address the impact of modern technology on one type of intellectual property - trade secrets. Part I will provide an overview of United States trade secrets law; Part II will discuss specific threats to trade secrets posed by the ubiquitous use of computer technology in the modern commercial environment.

Keywords: Trade secrets, access, intellectual property, security

Suggested Citation

Beckerman-Rodau, Andrew, Trade Secrets - the New Risks to Trade Secrets Posed by Computerization. Available at SSRN:

Andrew Beckerman-Rodau (Contact Author)

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States
617-573-8557 (Phone)
617-305-3086 (Fax)


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