Trade Secrets II. Intro to IP – Prof Merges 4.7.09. Agenda. Misappropriation “Reasonable precautions” – Rockwell Graphics Improper means: DuPont v. Christopher Confidential relationship: Smith v. Dravo Reverse engineering: Kadant v. Seeley. Rockwell. Facts Posner opinion.
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Trade Secrets II
Intro to IP – Prof Merges
Goss Graphic Systems, Inc. (formerly Rockwell) designs, manufactures, and markets Web offset printing press systems. The company offers newspaper press systems for newspaper publishers; commercial press systems for brochures, books, etc. It also provides after sales service and replacement parts for its equipment. Founded, 1885, based in Illinois.
The handwritten recipe that launched a fast-food dynasty and made Colonel Harland Sanders world famous is locked away at KFC headquarters—its contents so guarded that not even the chain’s top executive knows the ingredients. . . . Only a few people know the recipe and are sworn to secrecy. The employees have access to the recipe because of their roles making sure suppliers and KFC live up to Sanders’ culinary legacy. Two companies supply the herbs and spices, but their knowledge of the recipe is limited. Each supplier formulates only part of the ingredients . . . and neither supplier knows the other’s identity. The Colonel’s own handwritten recipe is tucked away in a safe at KFC headquarters. As a backup, KFC has portions of the recipe locked away in safety deposit boxes at undisclosed places elsewhere around the country.
Revealed when sell product
Disclosure by third party
A Transactional View of Property Rights, 20 Berkeley Tech. L.J. 1477 (2005)
Robert P. Merges
A trade secret may consist of any formula, pattern, device, or compilation of information which is used in one’s business, and which gives him an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it. It may be a chemical compound, a process of manufacturing, treating, or preserving materials, a pattern for a machine or other device or a list of customers.