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Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal

Abstract

Trade secret law is a rapidly developing and increasingly popular system of intellectual property which strikes a tenuous balance between individual profit benefit through secrecy and maximization of social welfare. In doing so, trade secret law adopts some property-based and some liability-based principles. This Article argues that criminalizing trade secret appropriation unjustifiably extends protection as a property-based concept beyond economically efficient goals. The author concludes that punitive damages within the context of civil liability are a more economically efficient means to deter unauthorized use of trade secrets and "socially blameworthy" conduct.

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