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 ''[P]roperty interests . . . are not created by the Constitution. Rather, they are created and their dimensions are defined by existing rules or understandings that stem from an independent source such as state law.'' Webb's Fabulous Pharmacies, Inc. v. Beckwith, 449 U. S. 155, 449 U. S. 161 (1980), quoting Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U. S. 564, 408 U. S. 577 (1972). Missouri law recognizes trade secrets, as defined in § 757, Comment b, of the Restatement of Torts, as property. See Reddi-Wip, Inc. v. Lemay Valve Co., 354 S.W.2d 913, 917 (Mo.App.1962); Harrington v. National Outdoor Advertising Co., 355 Mo. 524, 532, 196 S.W.2d 786, 791 (1946); Luckett v. Orange Julep Co., 271 Mo. 289, 302-304, 196 S.W. 740, 743 (1917). 


The Restatement defines a trade secret as 'any formula, pattern, device or compilation of information which is used in one's business, and which gives him an opportunity to obtain an advantage over competitors who do not know or use it.' § 757, Comment b. 


Because of the intangible nature of a trade secret, the extent of the property right therein is defined by the extent to ...

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