Trade secret law
Overview (Trade secret)
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.
- "Overview (trade secrets)" section: The Role of Trade Secrets in Innovation Policy, at 5-6.