Dale P. Olson


Information is often valuable and when publicly disclosed may be difficult to protect or control.' Such information, whether in the form of data or a product configuration, unless it can be exploited while keeping it secret,2 is accordingly susceptible to copying by competitors absent legal protection. The law, however, has not provided a framework that supplements the armamentarium of federal intellectual property law3 because the protection authorized by federal constitutional limits also thrust works into the public domain. The evolving technological developments which permit the effectively instantaneous transmission of information, as well as the inexpensive copying of trade values in products, imposes an evolving challenge in providing a balance between protection of works and overprotection of works. The technologically evolving nature of intellectual property protection was the impetus for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act,4 dealing with a variety of issues that have become more pressing as a result of technological developments.

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