But battery powered automaobiles were found to be a false lead back in the 19th century. Sorry Tesla, there is no room for you.
Battery technology has come on quite a bit since then. Electric motors have advanced significantly too. The combination of Lithium batteries, rare earth magnets and brushless motors has revolutionised many fields. The model aircraft scene, for example, is unrecogniseable compared to 20 years ago (where do you think all those drones come from).
However, based on my model aircraft experience I would say that electric cars are still not quite there yet. What works at 2hp for 10 minutes doesn't yet provide 20 hp for 4hrs with the same level of convenience.
A trade secret does have legal status, as illustrated in part by reference to the Supreme Court's decision in Ruckelshaus v. Monsanto.
That may be - but my point was that it should not have such status - given the existence of patents, which are supposed to remove the need to keep such secrets.
What is missing from all the discussion here and elsewhere, and academics are notorious for simply ignoring this, is a clear and concise definition of what a trade secret actually is.
Good point - and one that undermines (to some extent) your earlier point. How can a court give legal status to something for which no clear definition exists.
What clearly does have a defined meaning is a breach of a contract of confidentiality. However I think it is dangerous to invent an ill defined legal construct in order to make it simpler to pursue a certain kind of case.
The world is (unfortunately) populated with people who view such constructs as a means to make money without doing anything useful.
Fact: A huge loss for society and culture is when people don't pay creatives for their labor and thus they are forced to do non-creative things to make money in order to live.
Fact - the first breakthrough work of any artist is NEVER funded by the cconsumer. It is ALWAYS necessary for the artist to have a day job.
Often that first breakthrough work is the best (or even the only work of substance - Harper Lee, JD Salinger). The subsequent works are inferior because copyright royalties take the pressure off. Great art is seldom produced in well funded luxury.
Funny, my moral responsibility says that if I overheard a group planning a bombing in a pub, I would need to clearly hear the entire conversation from start to finish before I would even begin to think of assuming it was anything more than the discussion of some work of fiction or another,
How many sitcom plots have revolved around the idea of such an innocent discussion being misunderstood?