Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Book Review: The Secrets to Winning Trade Secret Cases
The book is helpful for both those suing for misappropriation of trade secrets, and those defending the claims. For most of the points made in the book, a helpful case in point example is inserted, with a brief description of the case and the holding. These are not only great citations but also handy real world examples of the results of the tactics in use. The book also stays on the cutting edge of trade secrets law with a splendid chapter on inevitable disclosure. Another great chapter is the section on the determination whether misappropriation is criminal in nature, and a very frank explanation of the dilemma between pursuing criminal charges versus civil remedies. An advanced section details the use of clean rooms to reverse engineer the alleged secrets, and others explain the intersection of trade secrets with (1) patent law and (2) noncompetes.
Of course, trade secrets law is a state by state subject for the most part, although the Uniform Trade Secrrets Act has been adopted widely. Thus, the book by necessity does not delve deeply into the conflicts between states, and sticks to practical advice that applies to all cases. It is not a hornbook or a treatise. True to its title, it is a litigation guide. There is a fantastic appendix with a sample complaint, protective order, and TRO order. A great section on packaging a criminal case for prosecutors is also included.
However, the book could spend more time on the preemption issues with the UTSA that often arise with multi-count complaints. Also, the book contains sample jury instructions, but only for six states that seem to be randomly selected, such as Arkansas and Ohio. One wonders how Arkansas made the cut but not Georgia.
I know of no other book in the market that gives such practical and comprehensive advice about how to effectively litigate trade secrets cases. In my opinion it is a must-read for any lawyer serious about becoming successful in the trade secrets litigation practice. Now, how to be a winner in trade secret cases is no longer a secret.