Intellectual Property Law

New Matter Spring 2015, Volume 40, Number 1

Letter from the Editor-in-Chief


Welcome to the spring edition of New Matter for 2015. The cover art of this edition features our Trade Secret Interest Group (IG). The Coca Cola formula illustrated is likely the country’s most famous trade secret. Other trade secrets include famous trade secrets like the Colonel’s secret recipe for Kentucky Fried Chicken batter, business contact compilations and computer code. The latter is increasingly a subject of trade secret litigation between companies in California. Unlike other forms of Intellectual Property (IP) including patents, copyrights and trademarks that have federal law protection, trade secret protection is governed solely by state law statute. With such a large California law based focus, the Trade Secret IG of the California State Bar IP Section is a very active IG providing advice to Sacramento as well as working to create and publish a Trade Secret Guide that covers both state statutes and case law governing trade secrets. The State Bar IP Section has just made significant updates and published the Third Edition of its Trade Secret Guide. For those interested in obtaining a copy of the Third Edition—Trade Secret Litigation and Protection in California, please see the advertisement near the end of New Matter for more information.

Employment law is further affected by the possibility of trade secrets being disclosed when employees change jobs. The doctrine of inevitable disclosure of trade secrets is designed to prevent employees from changing jobs. Although this doctrine is not typically recognized in California, it is addressed by California case law. The State Bar IP Section’s bi-monthly email publication of Inevitable Disclosures that announces CLE programs offered by the State Bar IP Section is coincidentally named after this trade secret doctrine. California trade secret law has other features such as criminal penalties that are based on state statute and addressed by members of the Trade Secret IG.

New Matter typically includes articles focused on trade secret law. Authors have provided proposals for articles addressing trade secret law changes for upcoming New Matter issues, so please look for those articles in the future if your practice is in the trade secrets arena. This current New Matter issue includes five articles addressing other fields of intellectual property, and we invite you to read these articles if you work in the field of IP.

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