Recent Developments on Copyright Preemption of Trade Secret Claims in the Fifth Circuit

28 08 2015

[Ed: “pre-emption” is the notion that (perhaps) a given state law claim–in this case–a trade secret claim– is preempted by federal law, in this case, the Copyright Act].
For the latest on the copyright preemption doctrine (codified at 17 U.S.C. § 301(a)) look no further than the Fifth Circuit, which, together with its district courts, issued a string of recent decisions regarding the preemption of trade secret claims involving software.  Most recently, the Fifth Circuit found that preemption extends to all fixed original works of authorship, even those works incorporating ideas, systems and processes, among other types of noncopyrightable material as defined in § 102(b) of the Copyright Act. Spear Mktg., Inc. v. BancorpSouth Bank, Case No. 14-10753 (5th Cir. June 30, 2015).


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