Anatoliy A. Lytvynenko


This article examines the emergence of trade secrets law as a specific sub-branch of civil and industrial law which protects a trade secret regardless of whether or not it has been patented. In English law, this protection has been afforded by courts of equity since the judgment of Yovatt v. Winyard in 1820, whereas the development of French case law on trade secrets in the 19th and early 20th centuries was based upon Art. 418 of the Criminal Code of 1810, which pronounced the divulgation of a trade secret to be a misdemeanour. Thus, French case law was developed by correctional courts, as well as some cases that reached appellate courts and the Court of Cassation. The discussion of the history of trade secrets law will enable the institute of trade secrets to be more thoroughly understood, and will facilitate the examination of the legal grounds for courts affording protection to trade secrets.