If one does everything reasonably possible to maintain the secrecy on trade secret, can trade secret protection be destroyed anyway, and, if so, how?

Trade Secret Destroyed Trade Secrets Intellectual Property

If one does everything reasonably possible to maintain the secrecy on trade secret, can trade secret protection be destroyed anyway, and, if so, how?

Yes — and that is a big drawback to relying exclusively on trade secret protection as a means of safeguarding intellectual property. Any of the following events can destroy trade secret rights:

(1) discovery by independent invention;

(2) discovery by “reverse engineering,” that is, by starting with the known product and working backward to find the method by which it was developed, the acquisition of the product having been by a fair and honest means, such as purchase of the item on the open market;

(3) discovery under a license from the owner of the trade secret;

(4) observation of the item in public use or on display; or

(5) obtaining the trade secret from published literature.

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