The improper acquisition of a business’ trade secrets is a federal offense. The vulnerability of businesses to espionage has increased dramatically with the electronic revolution. If your business falls victim to stealing of sensitive information it is imperative that you hire a Woburn business lawyer.
Trade Secret Defined
While the extent of what constitutes a trade secret can become somewhat muddled, generally it includes information that is either technical or commercial in nature that gives a business a competitive edge over others. An example would be the long held secret ingredient used in Coca Cola.
Status as a Federal Crime
Stealing of trade secrets was loosely governed by the U.S. Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) until it was brought under stricter federal control by the U.S. Economic Espionage Act of 1996. Prior to this, remedies were difficult to achieve. Moreover, states variously adopted UTSA. Indeed, Massachusetts was one state which did not embrace UTSA.
Trade Secrets and Massachusetts Law
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts created a civil liability law which provides its own set of remedies for violations (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 266, § 30). A defendant stands to be fined as much as two times the damages suffered by the business if he is found liable. If a violation has been committed against your company, you should work with a Woburn business lawyer. You have a statute of limitations of three years to file a trade secret claim.
The Commonwealth is also somewhat unique among the states in creating criminal sanctions for violations of trade secret protections. It is codified as a form of larceny. Violating the law can result in a penalty of up to five years in prison, and/or fines.
If you have concerns about protecting your business from trade secret theft, contact a Woburn business lawyer at Ionson Law today to schedule a free consultation. Call today at (781) 674-2562.