When presenting theft of trade secret claims to a jury, it is important for the lawyer representing the Plaintiff to explain the difference between a trade secret and a patent. It is common for a juror to begin a case with the incorrect belief that a business must obtain a patent to be able to protect business information or techniques in litigation. The truth, however, is that trade secrets are an alternative form of intellectual property that courts enforce through awards of damages and injunctions.
Dallas jury consultant, Jason Bloom, recently conducted a survey of approximately 1,000 Dallas, Texas residents summoned for jury duty. 82% of the prospective jurors believed, “If someone has a trade secret, then they should get a patent on it.” This is a reminder that an important part of presenting a trade secret case to a jury is explaining the difference between trade secrets and patents.