Saturday, November 19, 2005, 11/19/2005 12:53:00 PM

Trade Secrets & The Common Law -- 6th Circuit Holds No Conversion Claim for Theft of Trade Secrets

In Stratienko v. Cordis Corp., the plaintiff-inventor of a catheter device found himself whipsawed by the interaction between the Tennessee trade secrets act and the common law. On the one hand, he could not assert a statutory trade secrets claim because the acts complained of occurred before the effective date of the act. At the same time, he could make no common law claim for conversion of trade secrets because Tennessee law doesn't recognize that tort for theft of intangible property.

In states that don't provide common law protection for trade secrets, the need for statutory trade secrets protection is even more critical.

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