db 5 plst 420 – 2 student replies

Each reply must be 200 words and contain at least 1 reference properly cited in current Bluebook format. All posts must show integration of a biblical worldview.
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Student #1
In order for information to qualify as a trade secret, it can’t be known to others and efforts should be made to maintain and keep its secrecy. Trade secret means information, including a formula, pattern, compilation, program, device, method, technique, or process that: (1) derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from its disclosure or use, and (2) is the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances o maintain is secrecy. Deborah E. Bouchoux, Intellectual Property: The Law of Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Secrets, Section 22-1a (5th ed. 2018).
In Buffets, INC v. Klinke, Buffets Inc., operating as Old Country Buffets, filed suit against Paul Klinke for inappropriately using its recipes and job training manuals, which claim to be trade secrets of Buffets, Inc., for the start of their own buffet style restaurant. The main issue was determining if the trade secrets considered by Buffets, INC., were actually trade secrets. The court used the Hangman’s rule to make the decision in this case. The district court held that the recipes and job manuals were not trade secrets because the recipes were well known recipes that most all buffets use, and the job manuals were not subject to reasonable efforts to maintain their secrecy. The court of appeals affirmed the decision of the district court. The court found the trade secret status to be improper because of the Hangman’s test. Paul Klinke’s conduct was not to injure anyone else or cause a public interest impact. Hangman Ridge Training Stables, Inc., v. Safeco Title Ins. Co., 719 P.2d 531, 538 (Wash. 1986). The relationship between the two parties does not appear to be of the sort contemplated by the Hangman test.
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Student #2 KAB
A trade secret is information of a commercial nature used in the course of business that: (1) has inherent economic value derived through its usage in the commercial activities of that business; is not generally known to the general public or any other people not affiliated with the business, nor to people within the business that lack the need to know; and (3) is subject to the maintenance of heightened levels of security. (Bouchoux, 22-1a, 2012)
Trade secrets law is mainly the prerogative of state law. Until recently, with the passage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, trade secrets law was a Wild West with judges relying solely on common law principles. However, with the federal legislation and the trade secrets definition being incorporated into Restatement, 3rd, for adoption by several dozen state legislatures, trade secrets law is beginning to take precedential shape. (Bouchoux, 22-1b, 2012)
An example of a trade secrets case is that of Buffets, Inc., et al. v. Klinke, et al., 73 F.3d 965 (1996). In this case, Buffets, Inc., and others joined to sue a few members of the Klinke family and their business in federal district court. Buffets, Inc., doing business as “Old Country Buffets,” accused the Klinke’s of misappropriating their recipes and job manual under Washington state trade secrets and consumer protections laws. The district court ruled in favor of the defendants after finding that the the recipes and job manual were not trade secrets as is defined at Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 19.108.010 (Definitions). The district court also ruled that Buffet, Inc., was not entitled to a consumer protection claim under Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 19.86.020 (Unfair competition, practices, declared unlawful).
The Circuit Court held that the District Court did not err in making its determination. The rationale for this holding was in the text of the Washington state laws themselves.
Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 19.108.010(2) (Definitions; Misappropriations) reads:
“Misappropriation” means:
(a) Acquisition of a trade secret of another by a person who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means; or
(b) Disclosure or use of a trade secret of another without express or implied consent by a person who:
(i) Used improper means to acquire knowledge of the trade secret; or
(ii) At the time of disclosure or use, knew or had reason to know that his or her knowledge of the trade secret was
(A) derived from or through a person who had utilized improper means to acquire it,
(B) acquired under circumstances giving rise to a duty to maintain its secrecy or limit its use, or
(C) derived from or through a person who owed a duty to the person seeking relief to maintain its secrecy or limit its use; or
(iii) Before a material change of his or her position, knew or had reason to know that it was a trade secret and that knowledge of it had been acquired by accident or mistake.
Since it was the policy of the business to allow their employees to take their job manuals home, those employees could not be held to have had any reasonable level of knowledge that the job manuals were considered trade secrets.
Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 19.86.020 (Unfair competition, practices, declared unlawful) reads:
Unfair methods of competition and unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any trade or commerce are hereby declared unlawful.
It was never established definitively that the acts, practices, or methods of competition that the defendants was accused of exhibiting were, in fact, unfair or deceptive in that the recipes in question were so ordinary that they were said to be available almost everywhere in American society.
Kwami Abdul-Bey
REFERENCES
Bouchoux, Deborah E.. “Intellectual Property: The Law of Trademarks, Copyrights, Patents, and Trade Secrets.” (2012).
Buffets, Inc. v. Klinke, 73 F.3d 965, 1996 U.S. App. LEXIS 436, 96 Cal. Daily Op. Service 315, 96 Daily Journal DAR 507, 37 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1449 (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, January 16, 1996, Filed), available at https://advance-lexis-com.ezproxy.liberty.edu/api/document?collection=cases