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Fighting economic espionage with state trade secret laws

Carl J. Pacini (College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida, USA)
Raymond Placid (College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida, USA)
Christine Wright‐Isak (College of Business, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Law and Management

ISSN: 1754-243X

Article publication date: 16 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of trade secrets, reasonable steps to preserve secrecy, trade secret value, misappropriation methods used to acquire trade secrets, various legal remedies, and internal controls to protect trade secrets.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of types of civil trade secret cases is highlighted. The paper includes a statutory and legal case study analysis of the elements in a civil trade secrets lawsuit. Analysis of actual trade secret court cases illustrates the importance of private civil lawsuits in combating intellectual property fraud.

Findings

This paper shows the serious impact of trade secret espionage on the success and survival of businesses and the necessity of proving each element of a civil claim under state trade secret law. Also, practical steps necessary to protect an entity's trade secrets are discussed.

Practical implications

This paper raises the awareness of executives, managers, internal and external auditors, forensic accountants and other interested parties about the severity of trade secret espionage. Also, this paper highlights numerous steps to protect trade secrets.

Originality/value

This paper fills an identified need to inform those involved in the fight against economic crime about the importance of state trade secret laws and internal controls in the fight against intellectual property fraud.

Keywords

Citation

Pacini, C.J., Placid, R. and Wright‐Isak, C. (2008), "Fighting economic espionage with state trade secret laws", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 50 No. 3, pp. 121-135. https://doi.org/10.1108/17542430810877454

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited