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The present scientific and technical world is one of complexity, magnitude, and rapid growth. In the face of such soaring progress, one subject has grown increasingly important and yet has remained somewhat of a mystery to people in the scientific and engineering communityÂ¿ that of ``trade secrets.'' Although, as a general rule, these people have some working knowledge and familiarity with the patent laws, there is nevertheless an overall lack of understanding regarding the rights, obligations, and liabilities arising from the laws as applied to trade secrets. With the fluidity of the employment market and the rise in litigation concerning this area, it is therefore imperative that members of the community gain an understanding of these concepts. This article is intended to bridge some of the gap between trade secrets and the technical man.