New Jersey Adopts Uniform Trade Secrets Act


On January 9, 2012, New Jersey joined 45 other states and the District of Columbia in adopting a form of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA). This means that trade secrets law in New Jersey is no longer governed by the common law — in all its various historical types of claims dating back more than 100 years — but rather by a single statutory set of definitions. The statute, the New Jersey Trade Secrets Act (NJTSA), applies only to new claims arising on or after the date of its enactment.

In enacting the NJTSA, the legislature made clear that, while it was based on the UTSA, the NJTSA reflects New Jersey's "common law trade secret jurisprudence." For example, New Jersey did not enact the UTSA clause directing courts to seek harmony with UTSA rulings in other states. As a result, while one of the UTSA's objectives was to create greater uniformity among the states as to trade secret law, it is unclear to what extent New Jersey courts will look to UTSA rulings in other states to interpret the NJTSA.

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