"Competitive assurance...does sometimes involve lying or misrepresentation."

This was a discussion that appeared on ERE in May of 2006.

What do you all think of this?

Competitive assurance may not involve torture. But it does sometimes involve lying or misrepresentation. There's the old headhunter trick, for instance, or the potential investor who just has to know a company's R&D plans. The ruses are endlessly varied, and what many executives may not realize is that they are perfectly legal. Lying to obtain information is not even cause for a successful trade secret lawsuit—unless the imposter has signed a nondisclosure agreement. Ironically, the only party who can legitimately be charged with a trade secret violation is, in many cases, the employee who unwittingly shared the crown jewels. "It's not illegal to misrepresent yourself," says R. Mark Halligan, an expert on trade secret law and a principal with the Chicago law firm Welsh & Katz. "And the pretext itself is not actionable." Read the whole thing here.
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