Trade Secrets

Is a User Interface a Trade Secret?

While intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks have relatively well-defined boundaries, there are other intangible property concepts like “trade secrets” that are a bit murkier. Most U.S. states have laws to define and protect trade secrets. But it’s not always how broad those definitions are, or how far a business can go in asserting control over certain information. For example, a federal judge in Maryland recently held that static screenshots of a software’s user interface were not, taken on their own, a “trade secret” under state law.