trade secrets law

Cease and Desist Letter

A cease-and-desist-letter is a cautionary letter sent to an alleged wrongdoer describing the alleged misconduct and demanding that the alleged misconduct be stopped. A cease-and-desist letter provides notice that legal action may and will be taken if...


1. A set of operative facts creating a right enforceable in court. Though generally synonymous with cause of action, "claim" is slightly broader because it captures not only wrongs with standard names (e.g., battery), but also newly created rights...


A patent claim is a formal description of the novel features of an invention and of the scope of protection created by the patent.

Clean Room

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA method of developing proprietary material in which an isolated development team is monitored. The purpose is to provide evidence that similarities to others works or products are due to legitimate...

Contributory Infringement


A form of secondary liability for direct infringement of a patent, copyright, or trademark. A means by which a person may be held liable for infringement even though he or she did not actually engage in infringing activities.




Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryThe act of spying on or monitoring the activities of a government or company in order to gather secret information.

Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.

Exclusive License

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA written contract in which the owner of a patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret authorizes, for a limited time, someone (the licensee) to exclusively exercise one or more of the rights. For...


Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA principle in patent law that a patent owner cannot later sue a customer who purchased an authorized copy of a patented product. In other words, the patent owners rights are exhausted after the sale.


Fair Use

Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law DictionaryA copyright principle that excuses unauthorized uses of a work when used for a transformative purpose such as research, scholarship, parody, criticism, or journalism. When determining whether an...

Fixed in a Tangible Medium of Expression

Under the Copyright Act, a work is fixed in a tangible medium of expression "when its embodiment in a copy or phonorecord, by or under the authority of the author, is sufficiently permanent or stable to permit it to be perceived, reproduced, or...