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Briefcase: Trade Secrets

Guest: Professor Richard Dole



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Trade secrets is a subset of intellectual property law. Richard Dole, with The University of Houston Law Center, is trade secret expert and explains the particulars of this law.

"It's the protection of unique business practices from public disclosure," Professor Dole said. "Trade secrets can be a formula, device, method or pattern. Anything can be a trade secret if it gives the user an economic edge over competitors. For example, the Google search algorithm and the recipe for Coca Cola."

Dole says businesses can sue to prevent public disclosure and protect its trade secret. "But protection is limited to stopping misappropriation and unauthorized disclosure," he continued. "If a trade secret is independently discovered by proper means, there is no protection."

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