| Third-year Suffolk Law student Melissa Sikorski’s inventive paper on trade secret protection, as viewed through the lens of Roald Dahl’s children’s book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, recently won first place in the Boston Patent Law Association’s annual writing competition.
The BPLA presented her with the $1000 award for her “well-written, creative” paper at their annual meeting in December.
In addition, the American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology Law recently selected the paper to be part of its upcoming SciTech E-Merging News quarterly electronic newsletter, which will publish at the end of January.
Sikorski was inspired to write the paper after she noticed an odd similarity between the elements a court considers in cases of trade secret misappropriation and Dahl’s description of Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory. “I used details from the book and the movies as a sort of fact pattern to illustrate what to consider in creating a trade secret protection plan for my eccentric ‘client,’ Mr. Wonka,” she said. “I wanted to have fun explaining in an interesting way what makes a trade secret protection plan effective.”
The Birmingham, Michigan, native and Boston University graduate focused on Intellectual Property through the Suffolk Law IP Law Concentration and will complete her JD this month. Winning the competition, she says, meant recognition not only for the hard work and analysis that went into her writing, but for her creativity as well.
“Also, to accept the award before a room filled with so many of Boston’s leading IP attorneys, whose work has actually helped create and shape IP law, was quite significant and meaningful,” Sikorski said.