Patent and copyright are the worst, most virulent forms of IP. And trademark has become distorted and is used to hamper competition too, as illustrated in my post The Patent, Copyright, Trademark, and Trade Secret Horror Files.
But even trade secret law, the least objectionable of the four main types of IP, has been corrupted by the state. E.g.:
- Apple Lawyers Strike Back at Valleywag Over Tablet Bounty;
- HP sues former CEO Mark Hurd, doesn’t want him working at Oracle, Niley Patel, Engadget
And the latest: as reported in the Huffington Post, Hooters Lawsuit Claims Rival Restaurant Stole ‘Trade Secrets’: the restaurant chain Hooters is suing its upstart “breastaurant” competitor Twin Peak in federal court, claiming theft of “trade secrets.” Part of the claim asserts a former Hooters executive, now working for Twin Peaks, stole “plans related to management, recruitment, distribution and sales”. But it seems likely that Hooters will also make some kind of trade secret or trade dress claims (see my discussion of trade dress as used in the Two Pesos/Taco Cabana suit in The Velvet Elvis and Other Trademark Absurdities) against Twin Peaks since it has similar themes–scantily clad girls, etc.–i.e., that it is facing competition.
See also other posts concerning trade secret.