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Opinion: Covid-19 should spark a reexamination of trade secrets’ stranglehold on information



As the world struggles to confront the Covid-19 pandemic, how to handle access to trade secrets — information that is valuable because others do not know it — is one of the myriad challenges to achieving safe and effective vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments for the people of the world.

The most famous trade secret is the Coca-Cola formula. If someone accessed that formula who wasn’t supposed to, a misappropriation lawsuit from Coca-Cola would soon follow. While a scenario like that may seem foreign to the Covid-19 pandemic, trade secrecy spans a shockingly broad range of critical and lifesaving information.

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