Uniform trade secrets act carnegie mellon university. Johnson introduction the development and utilization of new technology is a major component of business success. The bill is headed to the governors desk for approval within ten days. Pdf pennsylvania recently adopted the uniform trade secrets act. Pennsylvania uniform trade secrets act trade secrets institute. In an effort to harmonize and clarify the law of trade secrets as it has evolved in different states, the commissioners on uniform state laws adopted the uniform trade secrets act at their 1979 annual conference. The uniform trade secrets act utsa, published by the uniform law commission ulc in 1979 and amended in 1985, is a uniform act promulgated for. This matter came to the subcommittee from the patent law section of the. For convenience, and due to the length of the material, the discussion is divided. Trade secret owners have brought claims under the act under numerous fact patterns, including. On july 1, 1989, maryland became the twentyninth state to adopt the uniform trade secrets act the act. Pooley and others published the uniform trade secrets act. Under california law, misappropriation refers to the acquisition of a trade secret by someone who knows or has reason to know that the trade secret was acquired by improper means theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or.
Three key distinctions between the uniform trade secrets act. You may be able to obtain an injunction against the party that obtained your secret. The antitrust civil process act, referred to in text, is pub. Jun 08, 2016 26 see uniform trade secrets act 5 a court shall preserve the secrecy of an alleged trade secret by reasonable means. Subject matter regulated by this chapter is not preempted by federal robinsonpatman act so as to render this chapter invalid. As used in the trade secrets act, unless the context otherwise requires. Oocea is an agency within the definition of the term included in chapter 119, florida statutes, is subject to both floridas public records act and uniform trade secrets act. Massachusetts adopting the utsa will leave new york the sole jurisdiction in the united states that relies only on common law protections for trade secrets. Chapter 625 uniform trade secrets act contains secs.
Since a trade secret is a thing of commercial value, it gives the owner an advantage over competitors who do not know the secret and cannot use it to compete for business. The uniform trade secrets act utsa is a piece of legislation created by the uniform law commission ulc, a nonprofit organization. Uniform trade secrets act table of contents, title. Three key distinctions between the uniform trade secrets act and the common law. The uniform trade secrets act utsa, published by the uniform law commission ulc in 1979 and amended in 1985, is a uniform act promulgated for adoption by states in the united states. Enacted by chapter 60, 1989 general session 242 definitions. Ulccchlc also makes recommendations for changes to federal criminal legislation based on identified deficiencies, defects or gaps in existing law, or based on problems created by judicial interpretation of existing law. Apr 04, 2018 since a trade secret is a thing of commercial value, it gives the owner an advantage over competitors who do not know the secret and cannot use it to compete for business. The act provides the more specific legal standards as to trade secret. Uniform trade secrets act drafted by the national conference of commissioners on uniform state laws, as amended 1985 1.
The case for a federal trade secrets act harvard journal of law. Uniform trade secrets act chapter 24 enacted by chapter 60. In addition to new yorks rules regarding trade secrets, certain federal rules also apply in new york. If a trade secret owner orders a trade secret seizure, there must be a hearing within seven days of the seizure order. Aug 12, 20 the uniform trade secrets act imposes civil penalties such as damages and injunctions on those who improperly find out about and use trade secrets and provides remedies for the aggrieved party.
Only two states, new york and massachusetts, have yet to adopt some form of the. A improper means includes theft, bribery, misrepresentation, breach or inducement of a breach of a duty to maintain secrecy, or espionage through electronic or other means. Unfair trade practices and consumer protection part 4. Comparison between trade secret damages and other ip damages first, we discuss the damages rules for the three main.
If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of the act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable. Upon application to the court, an injunction shall be terminated when the trade secret has ceased to exist, but the injunction may be continued for an additional reasonable period of time in. The ability to sustain investment in research and development in a competitive environment is dependent. Misuse or disclosure of trade secrets can significantly damage the value of the information. This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the uniform trade secrets act. The uniform trade secrets act utsa serves as model legislation for states to create their own statutes on trade secrets. For complete classification of this act to the code, see short title note set out under section 11 of title 15 and tables. It is referred to as the maryland uniform trade secrets act mutsa md. Court orders to preserve secrecy of alleged trade secrets. Protection of trade secrets is essential to a companys capacity to gain economic advantage over its competitors. Attorneys fees in trade secrets litigation introduction the awarding of attorneys fees in trade secrets litigation differs in many respects from the feeshifting statutes applicable in, trademark, and patent cases.
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise. How does the uniform trade secrets act utsa protect. One goal of the utsa is to make the state laws governing trade secrets uniform. The illinois trade secrets act itsa, modeled on the uniform trade secrets act, governs trade secrets in illinois.
For an overview of the model utsa, see practice note, protection of employers trade secrets and confidential information. The uniform trade secrets act arose to create a uniform business environment that created more certain standards for protection of commercially valuable information. Definitions as used in this act, unless the context requires otherwise. In an action under this chapter, a court shall preserve the secrecy of an alleged trade secret by reasonable means, which may include granting protective orders in connection with discovery proceedings, holding incamera hearings, sealing the records of the action and ordering any person involved in the litigation not to disclose an alleged. The uniform trade secrets act imposes civil penalties such as damages and injunctions on those who improperly find out about and use trade secrets and provides remedies for. Minnesota office of the revisor of statutes, 700 state office building, 100 rev. The uniform trade secrets act offers several strategies in the event that someone else learns about your trade secret through improper means. Alaska uniform trade secrets act trade secrets institute. One goal of the utsa is to make the state laws governing trade secrets uniform, which is especially important for companies that operate in more than one state. As used in this chapter, which may be cited as the uniform trade secrets act, unless the context requires otherwise. Other limits arise because the cause of action is governed by state law, not federal law, which ensures that the contours of the action vary signifi cantly among the states. The history of the special committee on the uniform trade secrets act on february 17, 1968, the conferences subcommittee on scope and program reported to the conferences executive committee as follows. The economic espionage act of 1996 makes the theft of trade secrets a federal crime.
The usta defines trade secrets and describes claims related to trade secrets. Maryland has adopted the model uniform trade secrets act utsa, with very slight modification. The uniform trade secrets act marquette university. The uniform act codifies the basic principles of common law trade secret protection, preserving its essential distinctions from patent law. The revisors office cannot provide legal advice or interpretation of maine law to the public. Justia us law us codes and statutes connecticut code 2005 connecticut code title 35 trade regulations, trademarks and collective and certification marks contains chapters 620 to 625 chapter 625 uniform trade secrets act contains secs. On august 1, 2018, the massachusetts legislature passed a bill adopting the uniform trade secrets act in massachusetts. The remedies for trade secret misappropriation are damages, an injunction, or some combination of the two. Section 3a uniform trade secrets 2015 new mexico statutes.
This definition, which is broader than the definition given by the uniform trade secrets act and incorporates elements of new jerseys common law, favors employers and, in theory, should make it easier for businesses to protect and enforce their proprietary information. The uniform trade secrets act is a law that seeks to give federal authority over trade secret laws to better protect sensitive trade information. To date, 47 states and the district of columbia have adopted the utsa. This chapter is known as the uniform trade secrets act. Injunctive relief for misappropriation of trade secrets. Trade secret wex us law lii legal information institute. Upon application to the court, an injunction shall be terminated when the trade secret has ceased to exist, but the injunction may be continued for an additional period of time in order to eliminate commercial advantage that otherwise would be derived from the misappropriation. The definition, however, is not so broad that it is unbridled. Florida statutes, is subject to both floridas public records act and uniform trade secrets act, and is headquartered in orange county, florida. The uniform trade secrets act was approved and recommended for enactment in all states on august 9, 1979.
The dtsa also has some builtin protections for those accused of trade secret theft. If you need legal advice, please consult a qualified attorney. Maryland uniform trade secrets act introduction on july 1, 1989, maryland became the twentyninth state to adopt the uniform trade secrets act the act. Whereas those statutes are federal enactments that provide some degree of uniformity, trade secrets law is the product. Californias version of the uniform trade secrets act refers to the theft of trade secrets as misappropriation. The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. Those states are commercial and biotechnology hubs that account for. At the state level, the protection of trade secrets is generally governed by the uniform trade secrets act utsa. The act prohibits the theft of a trade secret by a person intending or knowing that the offense will injure a trade secret owner.54 829 1231 452 942 473 10 602 261 803 1360 1078 1209 1213 714 946 508 712 981 1250 136 1475 932 1492 1509 446 390 550 748 343 1358 673 722 1120 246 205 95 875 316 1277 121 93 873 220 538 1437 437