Tag Archives: Connecticut Supreme Court

Connecticut Supreme Court Rules That A Public Agency Can Create And Maintain Trade Secrets

The Supreme Court of Connecticut has ruled that a public agency, the University of Connecticut, can create and maintain trade secrets that are exempt from disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). The trade secrets are databases of customer lists identifying the persons who paid to attend, donated to, inquired about, or participated in educational, cultural or athletic activities at the University, such as season ticket holders, donors and program subscribers.

In University of Connecticut v. Freedom of Information Commission, 303 Conn. 724, __A. 3d__ (Feb. 21, 2012), the Court rejected the State Freedom of Information Commission’s decision that the University’s databases could not be “trade secrets” under the FOIA disclosure exemption, based on the Commission’s conclusion that the University was a public entity that did not engage in “trade.” The Court ruled that a public agency that creates and maintains trade secret information is entitled to the same protection that would constitute a protected trade secret if the information was created by a private entity. The Court examined the nature of the information in the databases, the purposes for which the information was used, potential competitors and the economic benefit that the information might confer on competitors.

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