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Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Two titles on trade secrets

It seems that the IPKat's friends at Oxford University Press are trying to corner the market for publications in the area of trade secrecy. For, just when the second edition of Gurry, enrobed in its magisterial jacket of red, breaks forth from the leafy groves and dreaming spires of Oxford, the very same publisher is launching an equally second edition of a bright, brash, bouncy counterpart from its stylish New York suite office suite. This post notes them both.

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Trade Secrets Law and Practice (second Edition) has been put together by the IPKat's friend David W. Quinto with fellow US attorney Stuart H. Singer. The authors have been around the block a few times and their feet click to the subtle rhythm of their subject: David is a founding partner and head of internet litigation at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, Los Angeles, California. His clients include some of the biggest and boldest fish in the IP pond and you wouldn't want to go trifling with them while he's around.  Stuart practises on the Atlantic seaboard, down in Fort Lauderdale with Boies, Schiller & Flexner, LLP. Presumably, if the Californians cope with sharks, the Floridians can deal with the alligators.

Is this a good book, one which is worth not merely buying because it's quite reasonably priced for a law book but which is worth reading?  One must first put aside for a moment the drab and uninspiring cover, a feature of OUP's New York intellectual property books which is probably intended as a pictorial representation of their serious content but merely serves to remind us that even IP lawyers are attracted by bright colours and pretty pictures, particularly when choosing books online. Peeling back the cover, one is left the product itself -- and it's a winner.  As the publishers say:
"The value of a business is more than ever a reflection of the value of the company's ideas, which makes trade secrets an increasingly important part of this equation. Trade Secrets: Law and Practice is the first legal treatise to cover the subject from a trial lawyer's perspective, and it should be on the desk of every firm litigator and in-house counsel involved in the protection of trade secrets.

Written by two highly experienced trial lawyers, this Second Edition contains a new overview of litigation burdens, presumptions and inferences [for non-US lawyers, this is the most interesting bit since it is here, rather than in the realms of substantive law, that the battles over trade secrecy are truly fought, won or appealed --  people don't take easily to defeat in the US]; a comprehensive analysis of the applicability of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to trade secret misappropriation claims; the latest developments in the evolving approaches to the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) preemption of common law and state statutory claims; and an expanded state-by-state analysis of trade secret litigation.

This book is an invaluable resource for both firm-based litigators and in-house attorneys. It sets a new standard for the insightful analysis of U.S. trade secret law and practice [Sets a new standard? Merpel thought the first edition did that ...]".
It's good to be reminded that, just as some Americans foolishly look over towards Europe and think it's a single jurisdiction, a probably greater number of Europeans foolishly look West towards the United States and think much the same. But while a homogeneous one-size-fits-all Federal law covers patents, copyright and the big and interstate bits of trade mark law, trade secrets are a subject matter that may depend precariously on the depth of protection that state law can offer, and on the manner in which the state court systems put their laws into operation.  An appendix of nearly 150 pages summarises the relevant law of 23 states, five of which begin with the letter 'M'.  Says Merpel, who also begins with an M, this is a very useful book and a good read too.

Bilbiographic data: xv + 582 page. Paperback. ISBN 13: 978-199767571; ISBN 10: 0199767572. Rupture factor: low. Price US$225. Book's web page here 
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 Gurry on Breach of Confidence The Protection of Confidential Information (Second Edition) has been put together by Tanya Aplin, Lionel Bently, Phillip Johnson and Simon Malynicz.  This Kat isn't even going to attempt to review this book (in case you're wondering, he has commissioned someone else to do so) since his friends have been involved in it --  but he is going to draw it to the attention of his readers.  On  a personal note, Francis Gurry's original Breach of Confidence, published in 1984, had a lot going for it: it was scholarly, readable, clearly thought-out from first principles and absolutely devoid of competition from other titles.  This Kat can't remember which journal he reviewed it for, but he seems to think that, despite its 1984 date, it didn't have any references to any articles or case notes published in the European Intellectual Property Review -- a journal which, though launched in 1978 and published continuously thereafter, was then unknown to the law faculty of Oxford University. Does anyone have a copy? Can they verify this?

Anyway, since this is more than a kat's lick and a promise, here's the bit you really want to know: ...

Bibliographic datalxxxix + 881 pages. Hardback. ISBN 978-0-19-929766-5. Rupture factor: severe -- not a book to drop on your toes. Price £195. Web page here.

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