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61 Stan. L. Rev. 311 (2008-2009)
The Surprising Virtues of Treating Trade Secrets as IP Rights

handle is hein.journals/stflr61 and id is 315 raw text is: THE SURPRISING VIRTUES OF TREATING
TRADE SECRETS AS IP RIGHTS
Mark A. Lemley*
IN TR O D U CTIO N  ....................................................................................................... 3 12
I.  TRA DE  SECRET  D OCTRINE  ................................................................................ 315
A .  The  History  of  Trade  Secret Law  ............................................................... 315
B.  The  Scope of  Trade  Secret Law  .................................................................. 317
II. EFFORTS TO UNDERSTAND TRADE SECRET THEORY ........................................ 319
A .  Tort  L a w   ..................................................................................................... 32 0
B .  C ontract L aw   .............................................................................................. 323
C .  P rop erty  Law   .............................................................................................. 324
D. Commercial Morality and Other Theories ................................................. 327
E. Bone's Challenge: Does Trade Secret Law Serve a Purpose? ................... 328
III. CONSTRUCTING AN IP THEORY OF TRADE SECRETS ......................................... 329
A .  Incentives  To  Invent  ................................................................................... 329
B .  Incentives  To  D isclose ................................................................................ 332
C. Channeling Protection Between Patents and Trade Secrets ...................... 338
IV. IMPLICATIONS FOR TRADE SECRET LAW .......................................................... 341
A . The  Centrality  of  Secrecy  ............................................................................ 342
B. The Relationship Between Trade Secret Law and Other Torts ................... 344
C. Other Implications for Trade Secret Doctrine ......... : .................................. 348
1. Reasonable efforts to protect secrecy ................................................... 348
2. Contracting  around  trade secret law  .................................................... 350
3. IP, property, and absolute dominion ................................................ 351
* William H. Neukom Professor, Stanford Law School; of counsel, Keker & Van Nest
LLP. © 2008 Mark A. Lemley and the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior
University.
Thanks to Chuck Adams, John Barton, Bob Bone, Dick Craswell, Zohar Efroni, Paul
Goldstein, Wendy Gordon, Tait Graves, Joe Grundfest, Rose Hagan, Eran Kahana, Larry
Lessig, David Levine, Jacqueline Lipton, Rob Merges, Mike Meurer, Roger Milgrim,
Michael Risch, Sharon Sandeen, Peter Swire, Rebecca Tushnet, and participants in
workshops at Stanford Law School and the IP Scholars' Conference for discussions of these
issues or comments on a prior draft.
This Article does not address perhaps the most divisive issue facing the law of trade
secrecy: whether it is trade secret law (5983 cites in Westlaw's allcases and tp-all
databases combined) or trade secrets law (a mere 2144 cites). Westlaw search conducted
February 15, 2008. I use trade secret throughout-who am I to argue with 73.6 percent of
all courts and commentators?-but that doesn't mean I'm taking a definitive position on the
issue.

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