Tuesday, January 17, 2006, 1/17/2006 07:39:00 AM

Trade Secrets and the Professor

From the Hartford Courant, a story about a company's lawsuit against a former University of Connecticut professor claiming that he improperly disclosed company trade secrets concerning research he did for it on "a compound that prevents a slimy, protective film from forming over bacteria."

According to the Courant, "Sequoia Sciences Inc. of San Diego alleges that Thomas K. Wood, a professor of chemical engineering, disclosed confidential information about the compound at conferences in violation of an agreement it had with the University of Connecticut."

Wood, now a professor at Texas A&M, is being represented by the Texas Attorney General which is first seeking to dismiss the claim on venue grounds.

Wood claims that the information was inadvertently disclosed at a conference in a footnote he overlooked that was left un-redacted.

As with the conflicts arising between trade secrets law and public disclosure laws, there is also always the prospect of conflicts between trade secrets law and academics' need (or desire) to publish the results of their research and, even more broadly, with academic freedom.

Expect more news on this story.

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