E. I. Du Pont de Nemours Powder Co. v. Masland,
244 U.S. 100 (1917)

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U.S. Supreme Court

E. I. Du Pont de Nemours Powder Co. v. Masland, 244 U.S. 100 (1917)

E. I. Du Pont de Nemours Powder Company v. Masland

No. 210

Argued May 4, 1917

Decided May 21, 1917

244 U.S. 100


In a suit to enjoin defendant from using or disclosing secret processes of plaintiff's business, defendant, while in effect conceding that he learned them through his former confidential employment by plaintiff, denied that they were secret, and insisted on his right to use them as processes well known to the trade and to reveal them to expert witnesses in making his defense. Held that, during the taking of proofs, defendant might properly be enjoined from disclosing the

Page 244 U. S. 101

processes to experts or other witnesses, the restraint not extending to his own counsel, and that the trial judge, in his discretion, might reveal them to such persons at such time and under such precautions as he might deem necessary in the progress of the case.

In such a case, the right of the defendant to make a full defense is limited by his duty to abstain from any fraudulent abuse of the trust which was reposed in him by the plaintiff.

The word "property," as applied to trademarks and trade secrets, is an unanalyzed expression of certain secondary consequences of the primary fact that the law makes some rudimentary requirements of good faith.

224 F. 689, reversed.

The case is stated in the opinion.

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