The Myth of Genomic Trade Secrecy: A U.S. Perspective (Seminar with Jacob Sherkow).

Activity: Participating in an event - typesOrganisation of and participation in conference

Marcelo Corrales Compagnucci - Organizer

Are genomic sequences subject to trade secrecy protection? At least two decades of scholarship has assumed so. But, in fact, there are very few reported decisions directly on point and virtually no explicit statutory authority. More importantly, however, an investigation into the elements of trade secrecy law—read in light of rapid advances and expansion of genomic sequencing—suggests the answer is probably, No. Generally, trade secrets constitute that information which is subject to “reasonable measures” to guard its secrecy; is not “readily ascertainable” to others; and derives “independent economic value” from its secrecy. But given the ease and ubiquity of genomic sequencing, it’s not clear whether genomic data can be “secret” at all or, rather, “readily ascertainable” if the underlying source is known. Nor should it be assumed that keeping such information secret confers “independent economic value” to its owner. The value to much genomic information lies in its public disclosure and use with other information—not secrecy of the genomic data itself. Lastly, even assuming that some DNA sequencing or genomic information was once protectable, recent technological and market developments may have extinguished the secrecy and competitive advantage of such information. This suggests that while DNA sequences and genomic information could be de facto secrets, some—perhaps a good many—may not be trade secrets.
16 Jun 2022


SeminarThe Myth of Genomic Trade Secrecy: A U.S. Perspective (Seminar with Jacob Sherkow).
LocationUniversity of Copenhagen
Internet address

ID: 310457030