Law Student Channels Roald Dahl in Writing Triumph


Law School 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 $1,000 award for her “well-written, creative” paper at its annual meeting in December.

The American Bar Association Section of Science and Technology Law recently selected the paper for its SciTech E-Merging News quarterly electronic newsletter, to be published 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.”

Sikorski focused on Intellectual Property through the Suffolk Law IP Law Concentration and will complete her JD this month.

“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,” she said.


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Greg Gatlin

Mariellen Norris