Friday, October 02, 2015

Coca cola in the cloud?

Within an article on trade secrets in the cloud, one finds the text:

If Coca-Cola were to disclose its secret formula to an outsider, it may no longer be able to protect it as a trade secret in a suit for misappropriation, for example. Generally, unless subject to a confidentiality agreement, the disclosure of a trade secret to a third party can render the information no longer protectable.

The Coca-Cola story reveals an interesting problem. Some have alleged that the Coca Cola formula was disclosed in the
Atlanta Constitution in the February 28, 1979 issue. Now in the presence of an asserted disclosure is the trade secret holder going to say "you got me" or instead, "no, that isn't it"?

As to the cloud issue, JDSupra wrote:

So the question becomes: is a cloud service provider a third party? When a trade secret owner stores a trade secret in the cloud, and effectively “discloses” the information to the cloud service provider, has secrecy been lost? Courts have not had a chance to answer this definitively. The outcome may hinge on the often boilerplate Terms of Use agreements associated with cloud service providers. Unfortunately, such agreements often disclaim any liability on the cloud service provider for loss of confidential information. This may render it difficult for trade secret owners to argue that secrecy was not lost and that reasonable efforts to maintain secrecy were exercised for trade secrets that are or were at any time stored in the cloud.



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