Definitions[edit | edit source]

Criminal law[edit | edit source]

Misappropriation is an attack in which the attacker steals or makes unauthorized use of a service.

Cybersecurity[edit | edit source]

Misappropriation "includes any taking or obtaining by improper means, without permission or consent, or under false pretenses."[1]

Telecommunications[edit | edit source]

Misappropriation is "[s]tealing or making unauthorized use of a service."[2]

Trade secret law[edit | edit source]

Under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, misappropriation of a trade secret means "an acquisition, disclosure, or use of a trade secret by improper means."[3]

Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, misappropriation of a trade secret means "an acquisition, disclosure, or use of a trade secret by 'improper means.'"[4]

Overview (Trade secret)[edit | edit source]

Misappropriation is a tort that may occur in several distinct ways. One is when an individual acquires the trade secret through improper means, such as theft, bribery, misrepresentation, or espionage. Another is when the individual uses or discloses the trade secret through a breach of confidence. For example, an employee might switch jobs, and then disclose his previous employer's trade secrets in violation of a confidentiality agreement.

Finally, a trade secret may be misappropriated if it is used or disclosed with knowledge that the trade secret had been acquired improperly or through mistake. A person who uses information that he knows to have been stolen by another is therefore also guilty of misappropriation. Misappropriation of a trade secret may be enjoined by a court and the defendant may also be liable for compensatory and punitive damages.

References[edit | edit source]

Source[edit | edit source]

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