UC Law SF Communications and Entertainment Journal


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.