Sharon Sandeen, ‘The Myth of Uniformity in IP Laws’

When Congress enacts federal laws, it is often because of the asserted benefits of a ‘uniform’ law and the, often unspoken, assumption that federal laws are somehow more uniform than uniform state laws. In fact, the uniformity argument was a primary justification for the enactment of both the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and the EU Trade Secret Directive. The quest for uniformity, particularly with respect to laws that relate to intellectual property rights, is an old story in the United States. During the drafting of the US Constitution, the existence of inconsistent state laws was a central reason for the enactment of the Intellectual Property Clause. The business community tends to like uniformity because, in theory, when laws are uniform they are more predictable, and when laws are more predictable, transaction costs are lowered …

Sharon K Sandeen, The Myth of Uniformity in IP Laws, 24 Journal of Intellectual Property Law 277 (2017).

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