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[dvd-discuss] Your Editorial on Trade Secrets - Unbelievable!
- To: dbursky(at)penton.com
- Subject: [dvd-discuss] Your Editorial on Trade Secrets - Unbelievable!
- From: microlenz(at)earthlink.net
- Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2001 18:53:46 -0800
- Reply-to: dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
- Sender: owner-dvd-discuss(at)cyber.law.harvard.edu
I read your editorial this afternoon "Trade Secrets Under Attack"
with disbelief. For the editor of a a respected trade magazine to
present an editorial based upon misconceptions regarding trade
secrets, patents, and intellectual property to the electronics
industry is almost unbelievable.
First, you state that "trade secrets don't receive the same
protection under law as patents do, and there may be no legal
protection if no patents are violated" OBVIOUSLY That's the
purpose of patents. Disclose the invention and get a monopoly for a
LIMITED time. That's in the Constitution of the United States. And
if you would choose to read the discussions regarding that clause
by the "Founding Fathers" you might find that the preservation of
trade secrets by the government was precisely what they sought to
avoid. (Despite these discussion taking place over 200yrs ago,
they are still relevant since they created an enduring system of
governing by those principles and should be heeded.).
Second you imply that the courts have a power to protect trade
secrets. This is utterly wrong. Trade secrets are NOT protected
under the law - only the misappropriation of them. Reverse
engineering a "trade secret" has been a common practice for
centuries and is legally protected.
Third, you imply that there is something wrong that they might
"disrupt the economics of major media corporations". So did Swift's
refrigerated railroad car disrupt the economics of the meatpacking
and railroad industries! So did the railroad disrupt the canal. So did
the refrigerator disrupt the ice trade. For an magazine for engineers
to write this is almost unbelievable!
Lastly, the most egregious error you make is that you seem to
believe that figuring out what someone else has done and doing it
better is some sort of crime. It's called reverse engineering and has
been a part of the engineering profession since the human race
started putting making tools. Trade secrets are NOT intellectual
property protected by the law for those who reverse engineer them.
The safeguarding of the electronics industry cannot be achieved by
hoarding as you seem to believe but my continued creation of new
technology and ideas in a free and open environment