UConn Argues Donor List is University Trade Secret

Bloomberg BusinessWeek is reporting that a Connecticut appeals court is considering whether the University of Connecticut's lists of library supporters, theater guests and sports season ticket holders should be public information.

Open-records experts say it's the first time that Connecticut courts are deciding whether a public entity can claim some of its records are trade secrets, even if they were created at public expense.

UConn says professional sports teams, theater organizations, casino operators and other competitors might use UConn's lists to chase those supporters' discretionary dollars.

Although Connecticut has not dealt with the issue, it's not entirely new. In New Jersey, a state council ruled in 2008 in favor of Rutgers University, which cited trade secrets and individual privacy rights when it denied a request for the names of season ticket holders to football and men's basketball games.