Even after the majority of the states adopted the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, there is a lack of uniformity in their applications of trade secret laws. This lack of uniformity is directly contrary to section 8 of the UTSA, which calls for the uniform application of trade secret laws by the states adopting the Act. Consequently, there is a need for uniformity in the states’ applications of trade secret law, more specifically, the inevitable disclosure doctrine.
This Comment will provide a basic introduction to trade secrets, the inevitable disclosure doctrine, including a discussion of the Seventh Circuit’s decision in Pepsico v. Redmond, and the Uniform Trade Secrets Act. Furthermore, this Comment will discuss and analyze the different states’ applications of the inevitable disclosure doctrine. Ultimately, a workable standard for the uniform application of inevitable disclosure will be proposed.
In proposing a workable standard, this Comment will argue that the inevitable disclosure doctrine should be applied rarely, and deference should be given to employers that utilize valid employment agreements that are narrowly drafted to specifically protect the employer’s trade secrets. However, in the absence of a valid employment agreement protecting an employer’s trade secrets, an employee should be free to work for an employer of his choosing unless the former employer can prove some kind of bad faith on the part of the employee.
Ryan M. Wiesner,
A State-By-State Analysis of Inevitable Disclosure: A Need for Uniformity and a Workable Standard,
16 Marq. Intellectual Property L. Rev. 211
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/iplr/vol16/iss1/2