Thursday, December 01, 2005, 12/01/2005 07:47:00 AM

Perils of Trade Secrets Litigation with the Government

From the Wilkes-Barre (PA) News-Leader, a report of trade secrets litigation between PA ChildCare LLC, operator of a Luzerne County juvenile detention center, and the county controller and two state auditors over the release of a draft audit critical of the company conducted by the state Department of Public Welfare.

After the trial judge sealed hundreds of pages of court documents under the Pennsylvania Uniform Trade Secrets Act, an appellate court reversed. Defendants called the judge's opinion "drivel" and immediately released all the documents to the public.

The controller was reported to be "tired of county judges ordering him to do things that later get overturned by higher courts on appeal." He claimed that "[t]he bottom line is that I'm doing this for the taxpayers."

The case is another cautionary tale about the implications of bringing trade secrets claims which can backfire into even greater disclosure of trade secrets.

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