Ticking the Hohfeldian Box Against Whom and For Whom is Trade Secret Protection?

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Maiju Auranen


The famous box-ticking device known as the Hohfeldian scheme has been used to analyze various types of legal phenomena, and stating the schemes usability is almost a platitude. However, this article presents how advantageous the scheme is within the ever-growing legal regime related to information rights. Using trade secrets and their regulation by the European Union’s Trade Secret Directive as an relatively established example, this article depicts how the Hohfeldian scheme assists in defining the subject matter of trade secret protection and the parties’ rights and obligations with precision, thus offering an example of how there is not only one right holder within the trade secret right context, but actually the trade secret remedy structure distributes several Hohfeldian basic positions to various subjects. However, when applying the scheme, the sui generis definition of trade secrets and their nature as an information right requires the scheme to be applied meticulously.

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