As the proverbial catchall of intellectual property, trade secrets are nebulous by their very nature, protecting hazier forms of intellectual property, such as business methods; manufacturing processes and formulas; customer, supplier, and vendor information and lists; marketing information and strategies; and “know-how,” among other things. By contrast, patents, copyrights, and trademarks each protect a discrete form of intellectual property, enjoy the consistent application of federal statutory and common law, and unlike trade secrets, do not lose value when they are publicly disclosed. As a result, any attempt to calculate damages for trade-secret misappropriation comes with inherent difficulties and inconsistencies in the law from one jurisdiction to the next, despite the extensive adoption of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act.
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