Equine Industries is a Florida company that sells an innovative, proprietary formula for nutritional supplements for horses. The company has a rigorous internal security program that strictly limits access to the formula. It never shares the information with suppliers or customers, and keeps only a single written copy of the formula on a flash drive locked in a safe.
- Equine Industries’ lawyer, concerned that Florida law is not sufficiently protective of trade secrets, considers relocating the company to Indiana in hopes of benefitting from stronger legal protections against misappropriation of trade secrets. Which state’s law is more protective of Equine Industries’ trade secret? Support your answer with reference to your readings.
- Equine Industries’ lawyer believes that the nutritional formula would qualify for patent protection because it is new, non-obvious and applicable in the equine health industry. What are advantages and disadvantages to pursuing patent rather than trade secret protection for the formula? Support your answer with reference to your readings.
VANguard of the Proletariat is a start-up supporting young adults who aspire to live “off the grid” in vans and campers. VANguard hires a consultant, Victoria, to adapt VANguard’s website to sell innovative gear for the van-dweller on the go. VANguard gives Victoria the administrator password to its website, along with contact and other information about suppliers whose merchandise VANguard distributes. Victoria registers multiple domain names for VANguard, and develops keywords to direct online traffic to VANguard’s online store.
Victoria terminates her consultancy with VANguard, and establishes a competing online store. She creates a website with content copied straight from VANguard’s website, including all supplier and product information. She also links her site to the domain names that she developed for VANguard under her consultancy agreement.
- Has Victoria misappropriated trade secrets in the form of VANguard’s website information and domain names? Support your answer with reference to relevant case law.