Although trade secrets and patents are both means to protect ideas, the Eighth Circuit’s recent decision in AvidAir Helicopter Supply v. Rolls Royce Corp., 663 F.3d 966 (8th Cir. 2011), confirmed that they are still fundamentally different bodies of law. AvidAir reinforces two important facets of the law of trade secrets in UTSA jurisdictions:  (1) novelty is not a requirement for trade secret protection and (2) the fact that a trade secret can be reverse engineered does not absolve unlawful misappropriation. Corporations and individuals whose businesses involve confidential information obtained from outside sources should take note.

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