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Business Torts: Fiduciaries, Unfair Practices, & Trade Secrets: Trade Secrets

Statutory Guidance

Trade Secret misappropriation has long been defined by state law and still is. However, congress has recently passed the The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016. This act now allows for uniform remedial measures to be taken across the country at the federal level. While the act act does not preempt one from suing under state law, state law claims can be supplemented under the federal claim in federal court.  When analyzing state statutes, it is important to note how they define what misappropriation to be. Under the Federal Act the word "Trade Secret"has a uniform definition, and once it has been established something was "misappropriated", the plaintiff must establish that they (1) used reasonable measures to protect their secret (2) and that the secret derives independent economic value from not being known to the general public.

First below is a brief video from various attorney's practicing in IP law discussing the procedural implications and benefits the new act allows for. Then take a look at the 50 state survey (on this sub page) to see and compare various state and federal law measures.