Free for a Fee
This informative and accessible introductory text, written for students of media and communication, provides a comprehensive overview of the complex legal landscape surrounding new media and intellectual property rights. The authors present theoretical backgrounds, legislative developments, and legal case histories in intellectual property law. Copyright, patents, trademarks, trade secrets, personal torts (rights of publicity, defamation, privacy) are examined in U.S., international, and virtual contexts. Suitable as a primary text for courses focusing on intellectual property law in multimedia/new media, this book will also be useful for courses in media law. The information presented in the book is supplemented by freeforafee.com, a blog providing updates to students and instructors alike. A glossary of key terms is also provided.
Chapter 5: Trade Secrets 133
Trade Secrets CHAPTER FIVE When teachers explain trade secret law to novice students, they almost always mention one or two particularly familiar brands. Th e secret recipes for Coca- Cola™ and Kentucky Fried Chicken™ are almost apocryphal exempliﬁ cations of the issues at hand. In both cases, the business information (the recipe and its application) is a tightly held and protected secret that is central to the mis- sion of the organization. Steps are taken to protect the secrets; the number of people who know the recipes are limited in the extreme. If the secrets got out, the companies would be compromised, so they work diligently to protect the information. If it appears that information about the secrets is leaking, the organizations take rapid and eﬀ ective steps to stem the informational tide. To date, apparently, neither secret has been compromised to the extent of entering the public domain. For example, in 2007, a former secretary for Coca-Cola™ was convicted of selling trade secrets to people who were aﬃ liated with rival Pepsi-Cola™. In the case in question, the recipe for Coke itself was not at risk; rather, the former employee took home product samples and documents and oﬀ ered to sell, for $1.5 million, information about products that had not yet been launched. She Lamoureaux.indd Sec1:133 2/2/09 10:46:56 PM intellectual property law and interactive media was convicted and faced up to ten years in prison. Th e recipients of the infor- mation also pleaded guilty and...
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